Where was God in my life’s tragedy? – Part 1

Sometimes it is easier said than done. It is very hard to digest certain bad news in life. A few months back I saw a tweet from my pastor friend that read, ‘Leading a funeral this morning for a dear couple who lost their baby girl – pray for God’s peace and comfort on the family’. When you hear news like these your heart will sink and you will immediately think about those parents who lost their precious girl. It’s a terrible time for them and maybe you have also gone through such terrible times. Every pain is a pain. Be it small or big. We live in a crazy and twisted world and we cannot run away from it.

You might be going through this season or have come past this season. You might be at the lowest point of your life. No matter where you are God has a word for you today. You are not alone.If you think you are the only one in such a journey, think again. There was young man called David in the bible who was minding his own business as a shepherd boy. One day the word of God came to him and said ‘you will become a King’. Did he become king the next day? No. He was on a run for his life for several years. He had to go through terrible times. He had to do all sorts of thing to save his life. He acted like an insane man, he had to escape through a window, he lived away from his family most of the time, spent nights in caves and the list goes on.

The Root cause

To make things worse he received a bad news one day that dragged him to the lowest point of his life.

He returned from a battle and as he approached his town he saw in the distance some dense smoke coming out of his town. He sensed that something was terribly wrong. As he approached his town of Ziklag his heart would have pumped faster. He would have said ,‘Lord not any more bad news. I have been through enough in life.’

When he approached there was silence everywhere. There were no footsteps, cries or laughter. Fires were burning in every house. David and his soldiers realised what had happened.

The Bible says, ‘When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.’ 1

Ever been in this situation?

When such things happen our immediate question will be ‘Where was God in this tragedy? What was God doing?’

We must understand this important truth. Bible says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

FACT 1: We are living in a fallen world where we almost kicked GOD out of it and wanted our own will and desires to be fulfilled our way. But God made all the effort to somehow reconnect with us.

FACT 2: We have a real enemy who comes to steal and destroy.

But the good news is that this enemy is a defeated enemy who cannot go very far if we really know who we are in Christ. Jesus has dealt with this enemy on the cross and has won a great victory. The enemy stands defeated and we have more power than our enemy.

Don’t give up on your family!

The scripture says David’s two wives had been captured – Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. 2

David’s wives, sons and daughters were taken captive. The houses were destroyed by fire. In short, it was an unprecedented attack against David’s family.

When David and his men were out at war, fulfilling God’s calling, these cowards came sneakily via the back door and took their families away.

This says that there is someone who doesn’t like you having a nice family. There is someone who wants to destroy your family. Understand this, there is a real enemy who wants to destroy your family. It is not easy to build a family especially when you are in the centre of God’s calling. It is easy to give up. One of my favourite scenes from the movie Braveheart was when William Wallace challenges his people to fight against the enemy. He put a question to his people “will you fight against this enemy?” A man in the crowd will reply, “Against this enemy? No. We will run and we will live”. William Wallace will say, “Fight that you may die. Run and you will live at least a while.”

Don’t give up on your family too easily. Don’t give up on your prodigal son and daughter so easily. Don’t give up on your husband or wife so easily. Fight the real fight. Fight the good fight. You will start fighting if you realise there is an unseen enemy who wants to destroy your family.

The Comeback warrior

“So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel.” 5

Note that the bible says, ‘David wept aloud.’ 6 When was the last time you wept aloud? Men don’t usually weep and men don’t usually weep aloud.

You need to understand it was the same David who once killed Goliath. It’s the same David who encouraged thousands of Israelites when they ran away in fear of Goliath. So I don’t think David is a weak-hearted, coward of a man.

But here he is utterly helpless. This says to me it’s a tough life out there. It’s a life that will even make the strongest of men to weep like a child. You cannot pretend to be a macho man or a strong- hearted woman all the time as though nothing will happen to you all your life. You might have killed Goliath in the past but one-day life out there will bring you to a point of ‘weeping aloud’. What will you do?

When David faced Goliath it was a threat against his life. But David was a born warrior. So however challenging the battle was David kept winning all the battles. The enemy brought tough challenges and he kept winning in life with God on his side. He once said in the scripture “With your (God’s) help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” He was going strong in life.

So I am sure Satan would have organised a round table conference and discussed David’s life like this “We can’t touch David as he is too strong for us. Let’s touch his family he will then stop following God”.

When I say the enemy organised a round table conference it might look unrealistic. But there are at least 2 instances in the bible to prove this sort of tactic by the enemy. In the story of Samson and Delilah the Bible says “The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” 7

In the story of Job in the bible we can read that Satan challenged God about Job and said, “You have provided hedge around Job and that’s why he is following you. Remove it and he will stop following you.”

If the enemy has to have a round table conference about you what will he say? What is the area that you are most likely to give up in life? This is what must have happened to David. Satan decided to touch his family. And lo and behold David is now weeping aloud like a child.

Hell would have laughed saying, “See the one who defeated Goliath. He is now weeping. A great warrior has fallen. A great warrior has fallen.”

You might have heard some great quotes and stories about C.S. Lewis. You might have thought he must be a very strong Christian.

I watched a documentary about him and learnt how he struggled to overcome the grief after the loss of his dear wife Joy. In his book “A Grief observed” he wrote “Kind people have said to me, ‘She is with God.’ In one sense that is most certain. She is, like God, incomprehensible and unimaginable. You tell me, ‘she goes on.’ But my heart and body are crying out, come back, come back. But I know this is impossible. I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace. Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand. ”

Life’s reality will bring the strongest man to the point of weeping aloud. And you might feel like hell is laughing at you.

But a true strong man or woman of God will refuse to stay in that fallen place. They will say as it is written in the Scripture in Micha 7: 8 “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”

Falling down doesn’t make you weak. But remaining fallen will make you weak. You need to say ‘Though I have fallen I will rise’.

Maybe you are reading this book as a fallen warrior. You were once at the peak of your life. You were doing a great job serving God, serving your family and having a great career. But something happened in the middle. It maybe that round table conference about you and now you are in this place of defeat. The enemy is laughing at you saying ‘a great warrior has fallen’ and you have accepted this defeat and you remain fallen for years. But the bible says something different. You forgot to read Micha 7:8. Say this to your enemy today. I WILL RISE.

God wants you to rise to your former glory. God wants to make you stronger today. He wants back his old warrior who once killed Goliath back.

Maybe you have taken wrong decisions like Samson and the enemy is now laughing at you because of your defeat. You think that’s the end of your life. But Samson came back stronger after that defeat and God gave him strength and he completely destroyed the enemy.

It’s never too late to rise up. So ask God today to strengthen you so that you can rise up to your former Glory. Be a comeback warrior!

If you are encouraged by what you read today, would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?

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