“At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” (Eph. 5:20 AMP)
At ALL times? For EVERYTHING? When our whole world falls apart, how is this possible? I just can’t fathom giving thanks for tragedy, can you?
One car crash devastates a college girl’s life. Her dad, her mom, her sister, her brother. Not one, not two, not three, but four lives snatched out of her life. Her entire family. I just can’t imagine the pain that must be piercing the deepest recesses of her heart.
Why, God, why? I just don’t understand it. I don’t know this family personally, and I can’t even thank You for this happening. How in the world can this young gal thank You?
But you know what? I believe Jesus’ heart is so full of compassion that He doesn’t demand us to instantaneously sing “Hallelujah’s.” He feels the hurt along with us. He knows we need to grieve. And to Him, thanking Him doesn’t always mean we have to jump and dance and sing praises. It also means pouring out our hearts to Him. Gushing out our emotions, even the “Why, God?” Casting all our needs at His feet. Leaning on Him and His perfect love. Trusting His plan no matter how much it hurts.
God promises He will always turn everything to our good, but sometimes that promise mocks us when we’re in soul-deep pain and feel abandoned and forsaken.
As I lay in my bed one night questioning God… WHY would You let this happen to this gal, Lord? Why her entire family? What good can ever come out of this?
Then as I watched the news, I saw how already this terrible tragedy is influencing for good. TV viewers are hearing about God as the only Refuge in times of trouble. People, young and old, are coming together to offer compassion and support. A young guy is given a song to sing a memorial to this gal’s family. Families are jolted awake to see life is so short, and family members are feeling a new appreciation for each other. And I feel closer to God as I am driven to plead on a stranger’s behalf and given an impression that He is still faithful.
So even when our world falls apart, God is still working good in so many ways around us and within us. He is still steadfast in His perfect love for us. We may not always “feel” it. We may not always understand. But He is always available to us, waiting for us to cast all our burdens on Him. We can’t bear it, but He can, and He will. He doesn’t promise to deliver us from all pain in our lives, but He does promise to walk through it with us. He can carry us through anything, no matter how painful. And for that we can give thanks always.
Precious Jesus, please, please, please hold young Brittany up in this devastating loss. Lift her up and pull her in close to Your heart and carry her along. Let her hear Your heart beating a steady rhythm of Your love and compassion for her hurting soul. And Lord Jesus, You know everything. You know that there are others who experience pain and loss. You know each one by name. Please carry them also. Thank You so much for Your everlasting, ever-faithful love and compassion!