The Greatest Book ever written is an amazing love story.  From the first verse to the last, it’s about a God who loves us more than we are capable of loving others or ourselves; whose love is higher than the mountains and deeper than the seas.  He’s a Heavenly Father who only wants the best for His children.  So why, then, does tragedy strike?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why does He allow things to happen that will cause difficulty and pain? 

I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know that God’s ways are sovereign and He truly is a loving God who desires nothing more than a strong relationship with us.  It hurts Him, too, when bad things happen to us.  However, He can work through the bad to bring about good (Romans 8:28).  Sometimes He allows the bad to happen to get our attention or grow us in faith.  Sometimes what seems bad to us is actually a blessing.  As difficult as some things are, they might have been worse, but God was working in those situations to help and protect those whom He loves. 

These things are on my mind because my husband and I had to say final goodbyes yesterday to one of his dearest friends.  His friend, Marty, was 41 and in top athletic condition, but he had a sudden and unxepected massive heart attack that took his life.  He leaves behind his wife Patty and their four young children (ages 8 and under).  On the day Marty was buried he was supposed to be in Boston with his 8-year old son attending a Red Sox game with one of his friends.  Instead, the friend came to Philadelphia to serve  as a pall bearer for Marty’s funeral.  Sometimes life doesn’t make sense…death doesn’t make sense.

An estimated 2,000+ people came to pay their last respects to a man well-loved by family, friends, church, co-workers, and community.  It was a blessing to be there among all of Marty’s friends and loved ones.  He and Patty both come from amazing Irish Catholic families that are loving, strong, and supportive. The loss of Marty has been terrible for them.  I’m sure they’ve all asked, “Why did this have to happen?”, and felt that this tragedy just doesn’t make sense. 

This situation doesn’t make sense to us, but it does to God.  I know from past experinces that God is able to make good come from even the worst of times.  When I’ve turned to Him for purpose, perspective and strength, He has been there for me and helped me through some rough and rocky times.  When I looked back I saw the footprints He left behind, proving to me that His presence was always with me, and also how He’d gone before me to make the way for what would be ahead. 

In the situation of Marty’s death, my husband and I have already looked seen how God went before us to make the way for us so that we could be in Philadelphia to pay our last respects and attend the funeral – and some of His work was being done before Marty even died.  What an awesome God we serve!

So what do we do when we are struggling and life doesn’t make sense?   Remember that God doesn’t want His children to suffer.  The words of Exodus 3:7,10 tell us that God sees our misery, hears our cries, is aware of our suffering; and that He promises to lead us out of those situations.  All we have to do is wholey and completely turn to Him, trust in Him with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5), obey His commands, and follow as He leads (story of Exodus).  The words of Jeremiah 29:11-12 promise that God has plans for us, not to harm us but to prosper us, plans for hope and and a future; and when we turn to Him in prayer He will listen to us.

As I think of those who are mourning the loss of Marty, and those who worry about his wife and children, I want to assure them that Marty’s wife and children are surely in God’s loving care!  God was with Marty in his life and death, and God is with his family, too!  They are blessed and will continue to be blessed as they walk in faith with the Lord.  Yes, they will have difficulties and hardships, sad times, and bad days as they learn to live without the man they loved and knew as husband and father; but God will be with them in all of those times.  He wants to be their strength, the light in the darkest times, and the source of hope that leads them to the joy that can only be found in Him.  They will never be the same as they were before, but they will be ok. Hopefully they will become even stronger in faith and richer in the blessings of the Lord.  I pray the same will be true for all who knew Marty – those who knew him as son, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend – and all who read this and are suffering or struggling in some way. 

The priest who led the Mass encouraged us to stay strong in faith, reminding us that the last thing Marty would want would be for his death to cause us to have doubts about our faith or turn our backs on the Lord (not those exact words).  As I heard the priest say these things, I could see Marty nodding in agreement.  I know God feels the same way, too. 

Please read Psalm 91.   It begins: Those who live in the shleter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I am trusting him…(New Living Translation)   To read more you can go to www.biblegateway.com and enter Psalm 91 for a convenient read on your computer. 

May God be with all who are struggling or suffering to keep them strong in their love and trust of the Lord, or to lead them to Him if they’re not already there.  If anyone would like my prayers of support or scriptural encouragements, you can contact me at ReneeMyers@carolina.rr.com 

God bless you.  Love,

Renee

Advertisements