A Traumatic Week
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
This has been a difficult last few days. While we know that death is a part of life, it still stuns us when it hits close to home. I've had several people I know, or family members of those I know, step from this life into eternity.
The pain is palpable. One friend talked about falling in the floor and nearly drowning in a sea of tears as she grieved over the death of one of her children.
She kept asking why this tragedy occurred. I had no answers.
I cried with my friend. I prayed with my friend. And I reminded both of us that we live in a broken world where bad things happen all the time. Sometimes they happen to us and those we care about.
Dr. Sandra Richter has pointed out that we don't live in a good world where bad things occasionally happen. We live in a broken world where everyone dies. The only questions, then, are, "Where are we going to spend eternity? What are we doing with the time we have left? And who will we invite to come into a saving relationship with Jesus while we're here?"
As I was thinking about this, an email came in from Pastor Alan George of Life.Church. I want to share it with you, because it speaks to us at our point of need:
This past week, we heard the devastating news of a helicopter accident in the United States that resulted in the death of nine people. Among those deaths were Kobe Bryant, the legendary basketball player, and his 13-year-old daughter. A day before the accident, as I was driving home, I heard the song by TobyMac called "21 Years” which was written in honor of his son, Truett, who also recently passed away.
These two events absolutely devastated me, and I see so many similarities between the two. So much hurting, so much confusion. Sometimes it’s hard to even begin to understand the grief of all the families involved. It’s made me ponder: What’s the right way to act when we experience such great pain? What do we do in those moments? Dr. Anita Phillips wrote a great piece on dealing with these questions. It offered powerful insight on dealing with grief in times like this.
Psalms 144:4 has been on my heart with all that’s been happening lately. It says that we are like a mere breath and our days are like a passing shadow.
Depending on your perspective, you might say that this is a depressing verse. You might find it true that life really passes in the blink of an eye. But on the other hand, it’s an encouragement. We must take hold of this life, this opportunity on earth that God gave us to be in His creation.
Life on this side of eternity is so short, friends, and I don’t want you to waste a single second of it. I pray that you would not let a moment go to waste, but that you’d spend every day grateful, with abundant love pouring out. Even when we face disappointments on this earth, we still have hope. We have eternal life in Christ where our hearts will be made whole.
Pastor Craig [Groeschel] actually gave some great examples at church this week about how to love well. He talked about three things every warrior needs to hear. Maybe you need to say these to someone in your life, too:
I believe in you.
I’m proud of you.
I’ll always love you.
Take a few minutes this week and call your loved ones. Call the friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Text your mom. Reach out to your old neighbor, your past mentor, your coworker. Tell them you care about them. Tell them you’re proud of them, you believe in them, and you love them. Don’t let this life pass you by without telling people how you feel, and seizing every second for the glory of our good God. It pleases Him greatly when we love one another.
Don’t hold your love back from anyone, because this might be the only opportunity you can share it with them. - Pastor Alan
To that, I say, "Yes and amen."