Is it Your Turn for Tragedy?
If you’ve lived on earth a while you have likely already experienced at least one tragedy or significant loss. Do you sometimes wonder, “When will my next turn come?” The answer is about as clear as a high smog day in Los Angeles. Only God knows.
Life (and death) are so unpredictable. Back in the day, people joked about how unpredictable the weather was but now your phone app tells you in seconds whether it will be raining next week or if you should stay indoors because of a heat advisory.
If only there was an app to clue us in on impending personal doom.
But really, would you live life differently? Here are some painful things I know people have endured… Just imagine:
- You take your small child to the doctor for a sinus infection and find out she has rare cancer and likely weeks to live. She survives but only after extreme and painful treatments for years to come.
- Your sweet dad sinks lower into the depths of dementia, often not knowing who you are.
- Your son is about to start a dream career as a pro ball player and suddenly dies from an unknown illness.
- You reach across the bed to give your spouse a morning hug and he’s cold to the touch…massive heart attack in the night.
- You find out that you’ve been cheated by someone you trusted and your life savings has vanished.
- Your college kid goes along with friends to a concert and is killed in a car crash on the way home.
- Your friend walks into a store that’s being robbed and is shot. Wrong place/wrong time.
- Your twins are two-years-old when you are diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Then your husband says adios.
This is just a tiny sampling of some I know about. I’m sure you are already mentally adding to the list because it’s unending. Tragedy, crisis and loss happen every single minute. It’s breath-taking and impossible to fathom how other people’s lives keep going when yours is smashed to pieces.
Tragedy is a far cry from some of the things that cause stress and rob contentment on a daily basis. (Kids behaving badly, traffic, pressure from the boss, a fight with your spouse, too little money…). Perhaps God allows true devastation in order for humans to gain back some authentic perspective?
While there isn’t an app to predict your upcoming crisis, there is a book that tells us to know it is coming. John 16:33 says, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” You may not know when it’s your turn for tragedy, but no one escapes this world without experiencing unexpected heartache.
All those people who joyfully went to see Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, England didn’t imagine or give a thought to being killed, maimed or in the eye of a terrorist’s storm. Neither did their loved ones.
The delayed point of all this downer/disaster talk is to be reminded that:
- Life is so precious and yet so fragile.
- Your turn for tragedy will come, but God will get you through it.
- Worrying is useless.
- You can’t prevent or predict pain and loss, but you can be intentional about finding joy and choosing contentment along the way.
Remind yourself every day to distinguish between routine stress (life in a first world country) and true catastrophe. You’ll be in a much better place to face the hard stuff ahead if you know and love God, serve others and value yourself. (Exactly what Contentment Connection teaches.)
I pray that you are feeling the comfort of the Lord if you are in the middle of a tragedy. I pray that you are actively embracing contentment if it’s not your turn yet.