Finding Hope in Tragedy
In December, Cissie Graham Lynch – the granddaughter of Billy Graham and daughter of Franklin Graham – shared this article about finding hope in times of chaos in the wake of the Boston marathon bombing and the disaster in Texas. Today as we watch news of massive flooding of “Biblical proportions” in Colorado, the shooting at the Washington Naval Yard and the threat of chemical weapons in Syria, we hope that you will be encouraged by the message and find assurance in God’s unending love for us.
As my grandfather has gotten older he often talks about the “brevity of life,” and about how quickly the years go by. Even for those of us in the younger generation, we quickly realize just how short our time on earth is when we watch as our parents and grandparents grow older before our eyes.
Recently, we’ve seen too often in tragic and horrific ways how life can be cut short far too early. If you’re like me, you’ve watched with grief and alarm as the tragedies in Aurora, Newtown, and Boston unfolded before us in the national media. I can’t help but wonder how on earth people can commit these terrible acts to each other.
Add to that tragedies like the explosion in Texas, or tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters that rip communities apart. How these people can wade through the chaos in the wake of destruction. And where is God in all of this mess, anyway?
I can’t pretend to know all of the answers, and I have just as many questions as you as all of this tragedy swirls around us. But what I do know is that God loves us, and though He doesn’t promise a life of ease that’s free of pain He does promise that He will be with us through the storm.
In the book of Psalms, it says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalms 34:18-19)
Notice what this doesn’t say? It doesn’t say, “The Lord won’t let you be brokenhearted.” And it doesn’t say, “The righteous will be spared pain.” Broken hearts and hardship will come.
My guess is that most of us are dealing with something right now that is breaking your heart. Maybe your parent has cancer, or your family is going through a divorce, or a friend or sibling is caught up in an addiction. Maybe you’ve even fallen to your knees and cried out, “God, where are you?”
Know that God is there. He sees your tears and He knows your pain. Tragedies do not escape His sight; neither do the struggles you are facing in your life. He wants you to call out to Him today and allow Him to bring you His comfort and hope.
I hope you will join me, my family and everyone at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as we pray for America and all those who are suffering today and coming to grips with the tragedy that has recently stricken our nation.
“God is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1