This is the 6th of our 14-week free program, where we provide Lesson #6, on Life’s Tragedies. One of the most commonly asked questions related to faith is, “how can an all-loving God allow so much tragedy to take place?”
Not being a theologian or Scripture scholar, I’m not going to give you the theological answer, but one that is based on my experiences. Here it is….God allows tragedy to take place in our lives to bring us closer to Himself (God). Tragedy is what got me to intensely engage in my faith. It’s the thing that got most of my friends to engage as well.
Think about it…when things are going swimmingly well, when you’re “fat, dumb, and happy”, as they say, you think you’re doing just fine on your own. You don’t need anyone, much less God, with what most perceive as all His rules and restrictions.
We Want God in Tough Times
Instead, it’s times of tragedy when we determine that we can’t do it on our own. We know we need help. We often ache for someone to come along side us. That someone is the person of Jesus Christ.
I just heard the other day that prayer is up over 30%, with the COVID 19 pandemic. An article on Crux quotes Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, who said, “the rising interest in seeking information about “prayer” on Google skyrocketed during the month of March 2020 when COVID-19 went global”.
I remember when 9/11 took place. Churches were packed and confession lines long, with people at abortion clinics and adult bookstores declining in number for a long period of time. When tragedy occurs, people seek God.
Tragedy Helps Us
I know these all sound like clichés…
- God doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle
- What doesn’t break us makes us stronger
- God gives us the opportunity to make a ministry out of our messes
My wife and I sometimes kid around, saying it would be nice if we could eliminate a tragedy here or crisis there, from our lives. The fact is that it takes every experience we have to make us who we are. And I thank God for all of it, including the significant tragedies in my life, because I know I wouldn’t be who I am today, doing what I do, without having experienced them. Praise God!!!
So, what do we do about it? How do we handle the inevitable tragedy in our lives? Given my experience, I would suggest:
- Think about the following questions, taking them to prayer:
- How have the tragedies in your life shaped you?
- Look for the lessons in what you’ve gone through…they are there; you just need to be open to them.
- During your morning prayer routine this week:
- Try to be in a place of gratitude, thanking God for everything that’s taken place in your life.
- Concentrate on the positive. What positive thing from that tragedy would not be present in your life today?
- Watch this Friday’s video on this same subject….it will be emailed to you.
Note: This isn’t easy stuff. I’ve been there. I promise you…as we work through these lessons and as you embrace the additional material, this “tragedy” piece is going to make more sense.
Please join us next Wednesday for Week #7 when we talk about our wounds and resentments. As always, please feel free to get to me with questions, comments, or concerns at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
P.S. Living in a place of gratitude means understanding that nothing happens by accident. The day I wrote this blog, my wife and I watched “I Still Believe” (Movie Trailer), a movie about singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp and his first wife. If you want to see a story about “why” tragedy and great hope, watch “I Still Believe”.
Week #1 – Being Overwhelmed
Week #2 – Earning the love of others
Week #3 – Lack of self-love
Week #4 – Fear
Week #5 – False gods, False happiness
Week #6 – Life’s Tragedies
Week #7 – Wounds, Resentments
Week #8 – Discovering God’s Love
Week #9 – Forgiveness and healing
Week #10 – Becoming the best Possible You
Week #11 – Path to Peace
Week #12 – Finding your Purpose
Week #13 – You were made for Greatness
Week #14 – True Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment