I am notorious for being a hardhead...in more ways than one!! God knew what he was doing when He made my skull thick, because I'm forever hitting my head on things. At times, I don't notice what's around me, and WHAM!!
At times we get smacked by life changing circumstances that we don't expect to happen. This past week we had two events that took us by surprise. A death of a dear friend, and the accidental injury of another.
What happens when these unexpected twists occur? How do we handle the shock and disbelief? We try to wrap our minds about what has happened. We automatically think about the last time we were together and things were 'normal'. We may wonder...what is normal? Will our lives ever be normal again?
Late one Friday evening, a handful of friends gathered together. They were drawn together by an unexpected tragedy. Their good friend had just been brutally killed. Some of them had been witnesses. They were in shock. Just last night they had all been together and were so happy. They had been celebrating. And now...this. How life can change in 24 hours. Why? Why him? He didn't deserve to have that happen to him. It wasn't fair.
They talked quietly amongst themselves. They took turns crying. The friends had so many thoughts running around in their heads. They thought of the last time they had seen him. One of them had said some horrible things. He didn't mean them. He was just acting out of emotions. It was too late to say he was sorry, now. Another friend was deeply concerned for the man's family. He had left an elderly mother. He had tried to comfort her, but that was an impossible task. How do you comfort a woman whose child had died? So many thoughts and emotions. And to top it all off, they were all afraid. They were scared that the group that had killed their friend would come after them, too. The crowd was so angry and mean.
The hours slipped by. Soon it had been 12 hours...then 24...then the next thing you know, it was early Sunday morning. Three of their friends had gone to the grave to prepare the body. They weren't even able to do the proper form of burial, because he had died right before the Sabbath began. No work at all was allowed on the Sabbath...much less dealing with an unclean dead body. The friends sat around and mourned. It was all they could think of to do. Their lives would never be the same.
Those unexpected tragedies. How do we go on? Why do they happen? No one knows why they occur. It would be foolish to even try and guess. But they do. No one is immune from them. It has happened since the beginning of time, and Adam and Eve ate that fruit. That act of disobedience ushered sin in the world, and we have had to deal with death, tragedy and heartache ever since.
How depressing and sad we would be if that was the end of it. How utterly distressed would our friends in the scenerio be if that was the end of the story....but it was not!
We know that the three friends who went to prepare Jesus' body came back with news that would change mankind forever. They had news that would change the outcome of countless individuals' lives for eternity. The news that Jesus was no longer dead opened the doors of Heaven for them...and for us.
It gave the friends something their ancestors had only dreamed of...it gave them hope. Hope for a future and a promise. Hope for everlasting life with Jesus in Heaven. The same hope that we hold on to when tragedy comes knocking on our door. It is the hope that God has a plan. He has a purpose for us, and can use the tragedies in our lives in a positive way. What Satan meant for evil, God can turn to goodness. Will we always be happy when unexpected things knock us over? Of course not, but we can know in our hearts, that God is with us through the bad times. We can lean on Him and trust that our loved ones are in His Hands. He never stops loving us...He always has His Arms open to hold us close.