So, this is the second post I’ve written for today. The first sits idling on my computer. I have struggled to know what to write because tragedy has come fast and furious these last few days.
We had just returned from the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean a day before. Saturday morning, I was still thinking about those sun swept days as I took another bite of my eggs at breakfast. Jerry was on the phone in another room, and though I couldn't understand his words, somehow I knew something was going on. I put my fork down.
He returned to the table. “What is it?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you when you finish your breakfast,” he said.
I didn’t pick up my fork. “It’s bad, isn’t it?”
He nodded and knowing I wouldn’t finish eating, he said, “----- took her own life yesterday.”
A Mom of four school-aged children.
I slumped in my chair awash in the numb shock that comes over us when we hear this kind of news.
Still reeling from this circumstance on Sunday, we learned a player on the football team for which Jerry is an FCA chaplain, had an accident on a skateboard, and was on life support. He died Monday.
I have found myself asking the same question that the Psalmist asked. “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4). The Message reads, “How could we ever sing God’s song in this wasteland?” Because I’m telling you folks, these kinds of heartbreaking tragedies make life seem like a wasteland. How can we sing? How can we praise?
Yet, the Psalmist answers his own question a few verses later in chapter 138. “I will praise you, Lord, will all my heart . . . I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness . . .
No matter how we feel, we will to praise. We choose to praise. We put our eyes on the only One who can give us the power and strength to navigate these tragedies.
Yes, our hearts are broken. Yes, we are sad.
Yet, even in the darkest, most terrible circumstances, God has a way through. He offers us hope in the face of tragedy. He grants us life in the midst of death.
In these grief-filled days, we look to the one who is greater than all of this heartache and trust Him even with our unanswered questions. We will praise Him.
The Psalmist also said, “God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Friends, I would ask you to join me in praying these verses for four children who have lost their mother and a family who has lost a precious son. We pray God would be especially real to them with His healing presence.