When Tragedy Strikes
Things have been rough in my home, I’m not going to lie. Rather than go into details about why they have been so tough, I’d rather talk about the things my precious Lord is teaching me.
The first thing is that there is never anything that you’re immune to. Just because you’re a Christian or some other reason doesn’t make you safe. Life is full of vulnerability, and it’s self-evident in the things we struggle with everyday. Before you say or think the words, “That will never happen to me.” Take a moment to ask the Lord to be the Author and Finisher of your life. He will decide what can or can’t happen to you.
There is a saying: “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.” ~Steve Martin.
I know that Steve Martin isn’t necessarily a “great” in the eyes of many people, but this quote has stuck to me ever since I read it. Empathy is so important because, no matter how much we want to believe it is so, we are not omniscient. There will always be a variable we don’t see or don’t understand that changes the whole dynamic of what someone else is dealing with. Also, as I said above, anything can happen to you, too. Before you judge, remember that fact. Anything can happen in this sinful world.
I also want to say that sometimes things happen because you’re doing everything right. You’re reading your Bible, your praying, your living by faith, and yet crap still happens. I would say it’s important to acknowledge that we have a great enemy who doesn’t like it when we do these things. He wants to leave us compromised, judgmental, and un-useful in our present state to the Lord. That is why it’s so important to persevere in prayer, reading God’s Word, and faith. Put on that full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10) Persevere. Send the devil to the Lord each time he attacks. Christ has already won the victory and he promises to us a life of victory, too.
Lastly, I have learned that ultimately it’s not the things that happen to us in this life that make us who we should be. God may use these things to strengthen His Identity in us, but we aren’t what we experience. We can separate the things that happen to us, the labels the world puts on us, and the actions of other people, from our true identity. Our true identity is what Christ went to the cross to preserve. Child of God, bride of Christ, loved, righteous, precious to God are just a few words that describe what Christ preserved on the cross. That is who you really are, not your experiences or anything else. Praise and thanksgiving be given to God.