Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BACK TO BASICS (02/16/17)
- TITLE: Hard Questions? Return-Refresh-Reset
By Sherry Brock
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Tragedies are no stranger to my family, and we've lived through several. But let's face it, my family is no exception. Disaster strikes everywhere and over time no family is immune. I've learned grief is a journey that never ends but is also one capable of strengthening our relationship with God and each other.
Years ago my Mom lost her fourteen-year-old sister in a car accident. I was twenty at the time, so she was actually more like my little sister than my aunt. She was here one day and gone the next, and her loss plunged me into a spiritual crisis challenging everything I thought I knew about God.
It was only a few years later my cousin's toddler had a serious brain injury. At the hospital, we learned from the doctors she'd been shaken violently by her babysitter and would not recover. How could this senseless thing happen?
In 2010 adversity came in waves. My teenage nephew accidentally fell out of an open truck door onto the blacktop below. His two brothers were with him and tried to stop his fall, but couldn’t save him. The sight of these two boys in the waiting room grieving their brother's death with his blood on their jeans was heartbreaking.
Two weeks later the older brother died instantly when he and a friend were hit by a semi-truck in the curve of a small country road. Two nephews. Two funerals. Two weeks.
Of course, grief was still raw when, barely two months later, a cousin took a swim across the lake and never saw the other side. My family, at this point, was numb and consumed in unimaginable grief. Why would God require so much from one family?
Our family had born so much; lost so much. Yet sorrow had not yet dealt it's cruelest blow. Last spring my niece took her own life. She was only twenty-six. Our hearts were decimated with pain, loss, and more questions. Why would she do this?
In my lifetime six young family members were torn from us with no warning.
I experienced a new valley with each loss, which only compounded the pain of my existing grief. Yet, I discovered over and over that turning to God was the only successful coping mechanism. When tragedy strikes I must return to the fundamentals spiritually by delving into His word, allowing Him to take away my pain, anger, and fear over time. It's a process, but it always leads to a better understanding of God's grace, peace, and eternal joy.
It was always tempting to spiral down into an abyss of sorrow and self-pity, but instead, I asked God for help as I reset and re-evaluated my relationship with Him. I've learned I must always first seek to know Him through Bible study, prayer, and meditation. It is only then I can understand who I am as a believer in Christ; a child of God. Understanding who I am to God gives me the strength and courage to move forward each day, no matter my circumstance or life's unexpected calamities.
Of course, this reset includes recounting a very long and ongoing list of blessings. God has blessed me in more ways than can be listed, spoken, or even discerned. Even I do not fully understand the length of my blessing list. It is another basic element of my faith, and my healing, to know that God keeps His promises.
It is through Christ's hope I offer these simple words to those who are hurting and broken from life's misfortunes, adversities, or self-inflicted wounds. Return to the fundamentals. Reset your faith. Reboot your dialogue with God. Allow God to refresh your spiritual center, or at the very least, to remove barriers keeping you from the peace, comfort, and hope only He can provide. There really is no other answer to our questions.
“Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV
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