Sudden/unexpected death of a loved one. Death of a child. Diagnosed with a serious illness when you’re doing all the right things. Faithfully and promptly going to work each day only to be handed your last paycheck. Missile strikes commercial jet, killing all crew and passengers aboard. Unarmed teen and robbery suspect in Ferguson, Mo., shot six times, fatally by police officer. When it doesn’t make sense.
This week in particular I’ve repeated the words “this doesn’t make sense” when I learned of the sudden passing of a dear friend. A young person, loved by his wife, family, friends and co-workers, his death seems unfair and leaves us wanting to understand the reasoning behind. We’re simply left to deal with the outcome, best handled on our knees in prayer. Prayers amounting in a few words, cries and groans, simply because there are no words. The one-worded question that resurfaces throughout is “Why?”
I’ve learned that such questions cannot be fully answered with an intellectual answer. God exists and operates beyond our human intellect and comprehension (read the Lord’s three-chapter response to Job’s questions in Job 38-41). Trust that nothing God does is random; He has a plan though we may not understand it on this side. What I do know is that God is sovereign—He’s in control of everything. We have to trust God even when life doesn’t make sense.
The following devotional written by brother-in-Christ Minister Dracy Jenkins is right on time. The encouragement offered in his message brought me some solace and I pray it brings you comfort and peace as well. God bless you and in prayer. -Nicole
“Anyone can thank God for the light. Jesus teaches us to thank God for the night. He says to us, ‘You’ll get through this!’ And we will.” – Max Lucado
Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer
1 Corinthians 11:23b-24a- On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24- and gave thanks to God for it. (New Living Translation)
For a long time, I focused on the Last Supper as Jesus shared one last meal with His Disciples and encouraged them for the times to come, when He was to leave them and return to Heaven. However, as we have read many times, Jesus’s words often contain much more than we initially hear and realize.
To understand the concept that even though Jesus was about to go through a horrendous ordeal at the hands of His enemies, He demonstrated the importance of giving thanks to our Heavenly Father. While we may not fully know what we will face tomorrow, Jesus did. And regardless, Jesus knew He needed to continue to praise God and thank Him for all that He had.
This is a critical lesson I know I must learn and demonstrate. I believe we all must learn this to truly demonstrate not only our love for Him, but our gratitude and faith in Him.
We are all going through something fearful, unpleasant or not what we wanted or expected. If you are not right now, unfortunately, that time will come. No matter when that time comes, giving thanks to God, through it all and for it all, is something that we must learn to do and actually do.
Jesus did it, I believe not only because it was part of His character, but to continue to teach those that followed Him, what they and subsequently, we, must do.
Giving thanks in the midst of our struggles doesn’t necessarily change the situation, but there are those around us watching, whose hearts and thinking may be encouraged and changed by our actions. We are witnesses of God’s love, power and grace in all that we say and do.
Praise God for His light that is illuminating our lives for His glory.
After God’s Own Heart Ministries
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.