Yesterday I finished a book I downloaded last week. It was a great book and I found it to be incredibly inspiring. It was by an author I hadn’t heard of before, mainly because she’s a fiction writer. I should probably expand my horizons, but I generally read non-fiction books and every book I read, regardless of genre, is from a Christian perspective. And so, I have never read one of her books. I was so inspired by her book and her story, I googled her. (Oh look, googled isn’t in my spell checkJ) Anyhow, she is quite famous and considered to be a renowned author. I also read that six weeks ago she lost one of her grown children. He was found dead. And she has been on my mind ever since.
This author shared her life story, good and bad. She mainly focused on God’s plan for her life and how He brought it to pass. She talked about her physical, spiritual and work disciplines and how they have helped her to stay on task all of these years. She is a hard worker unwilling to give up. But as I read about the loss of her child I wondered how this would change her. I wondered if she is still waking up at four in the morning to engage in her hour and a half long time with the Lord. Is she still swimming her half mile every morning before heading to work and is she still able to minister to others on a daily basis? I wondered how this tragedy was going to change her.
I think as a parent, many of us fear losing a child. I think that has to be one of the hardest things to walk through and something I hope I never have to experience. I don’t know how I would deal with it after the shock wore off. I don’t know what my reaction would be. My hope is that I would stay strong in the Lord and not grow bitter. I would have to pray against that. My trust in God would be shaken and have to be restored. I know this would be life changing on so many levels. One of the characters in the Bible that dealt with this kind of loss was David. He had lost a son, in fact more than one. He had feared for his life on numerous occasions and he learned the meaning of grace after a grievous sin.
“Then David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.’ (1 Chron. 28:20)
I think the advice David gave to his son is profound. He knew what Solomon would have to deal with because he dealt with so many things over his own life. He dealt with abundance and loss. He feared for his life and lived life to the fullest. He was blessed and cursed. He lived it all. And what he realized is that God never failed him. God never forsook him. God was with him. He reminded his son not to be fearful. Fear is an emotional response and he knew his son would not make good decisions if ruled by fear. He reminded him to be strong and have courage. It takes courage to step into a roll you have no experience with. It takes strength to deal with everyday life and the insults of the enemy. David knew this and knew his son, the next king, had his work cut out for him. But David knew that if Solomon could stay true to God, God would stay true to him.
Life is hard. God never promised us that walking with Him would be without tragedy. It’s what we do with those tragedies that shape us into the people God can use. I have to believe that God has a purpose in all things, good and bad. I need to pray for those that are hurting because I don’t want the enemy to jump in and wreak havoc. So, I am praying for this author and her family. I am praying for those left behind wondering what God is doing. I am praying for God to intervene with His mighty Spirit and comfort them. And I am praying that God will give this family the strength to pick up the pieces and go on. I know He has not left them. I know He has not forgotten about them. And I know He has a plan, even among tragedy.