The Bittersweetness of Tragedy

As I’ve spent the past couple of days reflecting on what the Lord is speaking to me, I’ve noticed a continual pattern. As I’ve felt the weight of eternity more than ever before I’ve longed for the glory of God. I’ve known deep down in my bones, to the core of my very being that this earth is not my home. In the midst of global and personal crisis, I’ve learned a few things. And I’m still learning. In the span of two months I’ve lost a good friend, heard of countless terror attacks, wept at the killing of more black brothers and sisters, felt confusion and anger at the killing of police officer, stopped in shock as I heard news close to home, etc. It never ends. And I shouldn’t expect it to.

As I thought about all of this I wondered why the Lord has sovereignly had all these things happen while I’m here. I watched the memorial service for Kenny the other day and through tears I listened to his father and pastors speak words of hope. What they spoke shook me and brought me to confess my unbelief. “It’s tempting for us to say that Kenny’s life was cut short, only being 25 years before he went to go home. But God, He knew that Kenny would live the exact number of days (Psalm 139:16) and he would live his life as a sprint and sprint well.” Oh how those words brought tears of joy to my eyes. And it’s just the same with everything else. It’s tempting for us to allow the enemy to steal our joy, to uproot our doubt, but when the Lord speaks ever so clearly to us that He is in fact good and trustworthy…oh, our souls can surely be at rest.

On Sunday, I shared my story in church. In fact, the day that marked seven years of following Jesus I was asked to prepare for this. God is sweet like that. He sees me and He knows me. As I reflected and prepared to share, the Lord brought a few things to mind.

He has always been faithful. Though there have been many times that I’ve doubted His goodness or faithfulness or provision in my life, God has always provided just what I need. Even if I don’t know it’s what I need. He knows me better than I know myself.
He does all things for His glory and our good. Though my days before Jesus were the most painful I have ever known, I am thankful for them. I know that God is more glorified in my weakness. I know that God used those lifeless circumstances to bring me life. So in that, I rejoice greatly.

[For those of you that prayed for me when I was asked to share my story: In all honesty, I was probably the most nervous I’ve been to share as it’s different in another culture, with a translator, etc. My prayer was that God would be glorified and the gospel would be preached. Praise the Lord, I believe that happened.]

Tonight I walked down to the sea and took in the last several minutes of the golden sun. As I reflected on the past brutal, breathtaking and glory thirsty months we’ve seen, I’ve seen the Lord call me deeper. Through all of this I can see Jesus calling me into greater, deeper and richer relationship with Him than I’ve ever known. I pray that He would continue to cause me to see His goodness, to trust Him always and to know Him as my good Father.

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