Webster defines the word tragedy this way - “A disastrous event, especially one involving distressing loss or injury to life.” It certainly isn’t one of my favorite words but it is one that comes up often. My job as a Pastor and my passion as a Christian requires me to be a part of the lives of a lot of people during tragic times. I have noticed a word that seems to be joined at the hip to the word tragedy and it is a word that is just as ugly. The word “unfair” is always attached to the word tragedy. Even if it is not spoken its hurtful presence is felt.
I have seen that some people can not walk with God in the face of tragedy and I understand the reason. They can not reconcile the fact that God is a just and perfect God with the reality of the tragedy in their life. It seems that two don’t “Jive” and a confusing paradox raises its ugly head.
When you are dealing with something that is unfair and when your are suffering it is hard to keep your mind and your heart right. It is hard to believe that God is a good God. It’s hard to believe that God is protecting you and blessing you when you have a terrible tragedy take place. It’s hard to have hope in the face of terrible disappointment.
Sometimes the facts of the events in our lives are in direct opposition to the truth within out hearts. For example I very much believe in Divine Protection. I know that God is able to shield you and hide you from certain things that would otherwise destroy you. I believe God is able to download wisdom into your mind and give you understanding of how to get out of whatever Maze of Hell you may have been wandering through.
When it comes to believing in the radical power of God, I go farther than a lot of Christians’ cringe meters will allow. I believe He has and even now is opening blind eyes and healing deaf ears. I believe He makes a way where there is not a way. I believe that He makes sense out of senseless situations. I believe that Jesus Christ turns bitter places sweet and that He illuminates dark places. I will even tell you I believe that God Almighty can resuscitate somebody from the dead even in the year 2006.
To me all of these are undeniable facts that come from revelatory truth. With that said, it is also a fact that in your lifetime you will suffer times of tragedy. Either you are going to die or you are going to suffer tragedy. The truth is no matter how prepared you think you are, tragedy arrives with a force greatly underestimated. It doesn’t matter how well you know CPR, how versed you are in financial analysis or even if you lock the doors and bolt down the windows, tragedy will find you. Suffering and pain comes to every one of us and you need to know it’s not because you are a sorry Christian or because God has failed you, but because you live on the planet earth.
Being a Christian does not immune you from pain or suffering or from hard times. Being a Christian guarantees you that pain, suffering and hard times will not be the end of you.
Christians get in car wrecks, fall victim to terrible circumstances, contract diseases and get old like everybody else. Jesus doesn’t say that we will not be touched by the curse of this world. What He says is that we are “blessed beyond the curse.”
So what is the difference between Christians and non-Christians when dealing with life’s adversities? The difference is that this is not the end of the story for Christians. We, through Jesus Christ are “blessed beyond the curse.“ His comfort is greater than our suffering. His presence is greater than our loneliness. His encouragement is greater than our despair. His Peace is greater than our terror and finally His Life is greater than our death.
Sign me up with Jesus because this is a deal that not everyone in the world gets.