When things go wrong in our lives, when things hurt, we don’t like it.
One thing that helped me move a little past personal tragedies is realizing things have been going wrong in a whole lot of lives for centuries. Why did I think I was immune?
One reason is American thinking. We can be a driven culture with success in our sights. We have so much in terms of possessions and opportunities compared to other times and places, we can get thrown off when something goes wrong. We want to fix it. We want a solution. And the quicker the better.
But things like grieving do not allow it. It’s slow and methodical. Not very American.
Add to that a kingdom minded, serving, giving, doing church mindedness, and grieving better not take too much time.
Additionally, I was a committed and dedicated Christian who believed in intercessory prayer. I meant business.
It’s not that I do not believe in prayer now. It’s just that now, I don’t believe it can change as much as I thought. And if you also prayed and believed it would keep the devil at bay (aka pretty much removed from too much bad stuff happening to you), anchoring yourself to Psalm 91, take heart.
Prayer is good. But trusting God is better.
One of the most important things to do after a tragedy in your life, after you have cried all the tears, is take a step back. Our pain causes us to focus intently on ourselves. This can go on too long. I believe we are wired to take that step back but sometimes we just don’t want to.
When we do, we realize we are not alone. Pain is universal.
This helps. Misery likes company? Kind of.
One of the difficulties of pain is: what do we do with it? We take a pill for headaches. We go to the dentist for a toothache. What is the remedy for emotional pain?
Not an unnamed force or higher power who has left you without words of comfort, strength, and guidance. But one who knows how we are made – what works and what doesn’t.
Our hearts yearn for connection with our Creator and there are no substitutes. He is the key that unlocks the questions and supplies the answers of the human heart.
And even though we won’t have all the answers to our questions, trusting Him with what we do not understand is an answer in itself.
And Psalm 91? I only saw the deliverance from snares and pestilence part.
Now I see the words refuge, shelter, rest, faithfulness … my God, in whom I trust.
This is where we put our pain and heartache. This is how God walks through it with us.
The stark chill of tragedies will come and try to destroy you. You will want to succumb to it. God doesn’t want you to.
He wants you to know His care for you and how He can help you to persevere…when things go wrong.