Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What Do You Do When Bad News Breaks Your Heart?

When Your Heart is Breaking -- Then What?
I sincerely ask God to give me the words I should provide in my daily posts, and today, I was compelled to share these words. Just maybe, your heart is breaking because of a recent tragedy in your life and you don’t know if you’ll survive the pain and heartbreak.

I heard a speaker share about the time when his dad was so ill, and in so much pain, that he really thought his dad would take his own life. He called his friend, a Christian psychologist, for advice. His friend said, "We pray that he won’t, but you may be right. He just might. And, it would be heart wrenching and painful for you. But, you will be okay, because you will still trust in God's sovereignty, you will bounce back because you will hold to your faith in God and you will live on with hope and determination. I know you, and I know the storms you’ve come through, and you will survive.” To that, I say "WOW"! Wow -- because it is so true for those of us who have met with a personal crisis, have experienced the loss of a loved one, who know the tragedy of financial loss, who know the pain caused from a divorce or broken relationship.....and we carried on. We made it through those times or, we are making it through those times now. The speaker went on to say that his dad lived beyond that time and, in fact, his last days were of sweet times with his family and friends and trusting in God.

Yesterday, I received a request for prayer for a family in my Tulsa home church. The wife/mother passed away just after delivering her newborn daughter. As heart-breaking as that story is, without a doubt, I know there will be loved ones and friends who will step up to give them support and comfort in these very tough times. There will be a healing process and they’ll be desperately looking for answers. But, with God’s abiding faith and love, they will make it. I know it, because I know so many tragic events and I know how those families not only survived, but they are thriving today.

I think that psychologist’s words, though straight-forward, were the words this speaker needed to hear. And those words ring true for all of us. When tragedy comes, we have an Anchor, and if we hold onto that Anchor, we will not go under. Yes, it hurts. But we will be okay, because we still trust in our loving Father’s plans and purposes for our lives. We will bounce back because we will hold on to our faith in God and live on with hope and great determination. Yes, we will carry on -- that is, those of us who know that this life is just a breath, compared to eternity. We will live another day and rejoice in our ability to stand strong in the face of overwhelming circumstances -- not in our own strength, but in His strength. "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We know that this isn’t the end of our story. It’s a chapter in our story, and there are other chapters to write after this one. Our Savior isn’t a cold-hearted cosmic judge disconnected from our pain. He’s a loving Father and Friend who is walking with us and even carrying us through life’s most difficult times. Jesus said, “Never will I leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

One of the most beautiful promises in the Bible is that God “causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him…” (Romans 8:28). On this side of eternity, we don’t always see how He takes the broken pieces and creates something beautiful with them, but we can have peace in knowing that He will redeem the tragedy somehow in His perfect timing. Perhaps some of the good He will bring in our tragedy is to use the pain to bring us closer to Him or bring us into a relationship with Him for the very first time. And the end of each day, we will still proclaim: "God is good. All the time. And, all the time, God is good!"