Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When The Unexpected Happens

Dealing with the unexpected
“Sometimes, when tragedy strikes, people give up hope that they can expect anything more from life, when the real quest is finding out what life expects from them.” ― Richard Paul Evans, author
When I started writing this post, it was about blessings gained from unexpected experiences. I had a cute little story to use for an illustration. Given the events last week in Colorado, I felt remiss in discussing blessings amidst tragedy. I wrestled with what to write, but nothing worked. However, I was resistant to the idea of writing solely about the tragedy because everyone else already had. What more could I add? 
As I prayed about my conundrum, I realized I wasn’t just wrestling with my own sense of what to write. Rather, I wasn’t fully opening my mind and heart to God’s desire for the post. 
Wrestling with God is senseless. When I realized what I’d been doing, I yielded. And if I haven’t said it a million times before, that’s one reason for prayer—for Him to speak to you. 
After a major tragedy has occurred, the first question that comes to mind is: Why? 
It would take several hundred words to sum up my beliefs and thoughts on this—or it could be answered simply: We live in a fallen world, and as such, our perfect life will be in heaven, not here. I’ve blogged about this several times, as well.
God isn’t caught unaware when tragedy strikes. Nor is tragedy unique within our borders. The sixty seconds it’s taken you to read this, tragedy has unfolded somewhere on this earth. Women and children have been caught in the crossfire of war. Civil war rages in Syria as the world tsk-tsks and mulls solutions, while hundreds are killed daily. A loved one has received a cancer diagnosis, died, or has been in an accident. 
Christians are imprisoned worldwide, some under death sentences. According to Christianity.about.com, “an average of 159,960 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith per year.” 
So where is faith in the midst of tragedy? 
Claiming faith is easy when life goes well. When tragedy strikes, whether in our personal lives or on a national scale, it’s much more difficult to trust God’s plan.
Faith alone will not provide you with all the answers—nor was it designed to. Faith is like jumping off a cliff and discovering things about yourself and the God you trust in the freefall. But it is also the solid foundation on which you build your Christian life. Without it, you don't fully appreciate the blessings, nor stand firm in adversity.
Is there hope after devastation? 
That’s a tough one to answer, and it often takes long-term reflection to see any blessing or feel hope. However, I read the story this week of a young lady in the movie theater in Colorado who was shot four times, once in the face with the bullet traveling through her brain and lodging in the base of her skull. The team of neurosurgeons who went into the operation to retrieve the bullet gave the family little hope. The bullet had weaved through so many places in her brain, even if she survived, her function would be greatly diminished. Then a miracle happened in the operating room…If you’d like to read the story, click here
Being able to depend on God’s love and comfort in the face of tragedy is reassuring. 
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
As the opening quote infers, maybe discovering the why of the unexpected is not important—rather what am I going to do with the experience? What does my life represent in tragedy’s aftermath? I believe part of the answer is to look beyond ourselves and our country’s shores and look at the world through God’s eyes and with His love.
As we go to the Lord in prayer, please remember these folks in your prayers. Add your own requests in the comments below or email me confidential requests.  
·      TC Avey asks that you continue to pray for her father-in-law whose cancer has spread. He is about to start another long round of chemo. A few years back he and his wife adopted three girls (this after raising three kids already). Two of the girls have graduated high school, but the third is only 5 years old.
·       Betty requests prayer for Zackary Taylor, age 10, whom she learned about through the Tim Tebow foundation. Zackary has four brain tumors and is suffering from horrible headches. Please pray for his healing and comfort, as well as his family during this difficult time.
·       Karen Redding with leukemia in hospice care.
·      Courtney, young mother with cancerous brain tumor undergoing chemotherapy, received a fantastic report last week on her treatment and follow-up MRI. Click here to read her praise report.
·      Several folks have employment, housing, and mental health issues.
One of my favorite songs is “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Health. I pray we all strive to see the world through our Savior’s eyes.

God bless,

© Laura Hodges Poole


  1. laura not sure that this even matters but zackary taylor who i asked prayer for is only 10 years old - he has a lot of living he wants to do but it will only happen by a healing miracle from God. thanks and God Bless.

    1. Thanks for mentioning his age, Betty, since I failed to do so. What a tremendous battle for a child to go through. I'm praying for him and his family.

  2. God bless you Laura!
    And thank you for being a servant of God! Your light shines bright.