I wrote a blog post last week that got quite a response. It garnered such response because, at some point, every single person who read it has had one of those hard days. It’s a pretty universal experience.
The post was shared and passed around and commented on and several people who love me reached out to me asking how they could pray for me after they read it. I can’t tell you how much that touched me. Truly, the fact that they were praying was the most helpful thing they could have done at the time, but honestly, I couldn’t share many of the details that went into the need for writing that post. Why? Because a lot of it just wasn’t my story to tell…and that’s still the case today. Here’s what I can tell you:
Those stories belong to the families of the four (yes, 4!) people who died within 48 hours of that posting and the six (yes, 6!) personal relatives who were dealing with painful, life-threatening or life-changing health issues…and the multitude of friends and family members who were joined in prayer across the globe for each of them. That’s a lot to deal with and although none of it happened in my house, the calls for prayer came in here and the needs were felt here because I love each and every one of those people who called or emailed or expressed their pain or loss in person.
So now what?
I’m a bit analytical (yes, I just heard the snorts of laughter from several friends) and I serve a God who does nothing without purpose (yes, I just heard that bunch of amens, too!), so I started looking for what I was supposed to learn in all of this world of hurt that happened. Here’s what I know for sure about why all of that pain and loss was necessary…
(silence…lots of silence…crickets chirping in the background kind of silence…and then more silence…)
Nothing. Just like Sergeant Schultz, I know nothing. I have absolutely no clue why those lives were lost and why that kind of pain was necessary. God didn’t share any of that with me. So now what?
Here’s what I saw when I started looking at the lives that were lost:
I knew two of the people who died personally and had close relative or personal friend accounts of each of the other two lives and I found that they all shared two common bonds. They all loved Jesus and they all loved their families…passionately. Their loss was felt so keenly because that’s the way they had lived their lives. That’s pretty important. Each of these four people hadn’t done life perfectly, but they had managed to get the most important question—what are you going to do with this Savior, this God who loves you more than you can ever imagine?–answered correctly…and they had managed to live lives that reflected that answer as they shared His love with those closest to them.
By the way, those six relatives of mine who were dealing with those painful life issues…they’ve all made the same choice, as well.
So now what?
Those people who died last week? Those lives aren’t truly lost. God knows exactly where they are…because they’re with Him and they are reaping the rewards of their choice right now.
Those people who were in physical pain? Well, some of them are better, but most of them are still hurting. They’re healing, but they’re still hurting right now. The exact same thing can be said of those whose loved ones lives weren’t truly lost last week, as well.
So now what?
Those of us who are left still have questions to answer and lives to live. If you haven’t already decided what you’re going to do with this Savior, this Jesus the Christ, this God who loves you more than you can imagine and came to earth so you could be with Him forever, then today can be your day. Choose Him. He’s already chosen you.
If you’ve already made that decision, then you have a life to live well. Live it as passionately as Christ loves you. That’s going to look differently from person to person because God has such a creative streak, but make sure you tell those around you about Him and make sure they know that you love them…even more…because you know what it is to be loved by Him.
So now what? Jesus said it best:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33