Facing a Tragic Loss – Part 2 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Facing a Tragic Loss – Part 2 — Morning Devotions

There is no way to avoid grief, but there is an unseen one who walks beside us and shares it. His name is Jesus.

By Chris WittsTuesday 2 Apr 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Talking about the topic of facing a tragic loss, as I did in Part 1. How do you cope when the unthinkable happens—someone dies.

You hear stories and I’ve heard them constantly—people in their 20s, 30s, or after they retire, something suddenly happens. I did say that we’d take a look at the Bible, because the Bible includes many moving stories that mirror our experience—like the story of the death of David’s son, Absalom. David was a grieving parent: Absalom plotted to take David’s place as king of Israel. When his rebellion was crushed, he was killed, even though David had ordered his soldiers to take him alive.

David knew that Absalom’s actions might lead to his death, but that didn’t lessen his grief. We read in 2 Samuel 18:33 (ESV),

And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!

David’s cry is the cry of every grieving parent. No matter how unexpected or predictable, death shakes us to the core. The pain is inescapable. Don’t feel guilty or embarrassed if you feel unprepared to face it. There’s no way to be ready for what you are going through.

Death Is the Enemy

Death was not part of God’s original plan. One reason death is so hard to accept and understand is that it’s completely out of step with the life God planned for this world. The Apostle Paul calls death our ‘enemy’ (1 Corinthians 15:25-26). Death is the enemy of everything good and beautiful about life.

The great Protestant reformer Martin Luther lost a son. His wife Katharina shouted at him, “Where was God when our son died?” Martin replied, “The same place he was when his Son died. He was there watching and weeping.”

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Often a grieving person feels intense guilt—If only I had done this or that, it might not have happened. Sometimes this awful thought creeps into our heads, Perhaps God is punishing me. But God does not do that.

A former great preacher in Atlanta, Dr Pierce Harris, lost his wife Mary in a tragic auto accident. A few months later a man wrote to Dr Harris and said, “I hope your terrible loss will not destroy your faith.” Dr Harris said that he felt like writing back to him and saying, “Man, haven’t I lost enough already without throwing away my faith too? Why should I cast aside the only hope that keeps me going?”

God Can Bring Something Good out of Your Loss

Ask God to bring good out of your pain. How wonderful it would be if we could get to the stage in life and say, I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, be it good or bad. But with God’s help, I can cope with anything.

The Apostol Paul declared that “all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Notice Paul did not say that everything is good. Lots of things are terrible. But anything that is turned over to God in faith can be used as raw material for his good purposes.

Whatever may have been your loss, I hope that these biblical guidelines will assist you in your walk through grief. There is no way to avoid grief, but there is an unseen one who walks beside us and shares it. His name is Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd, the one who said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).

I love the chorus of an old gospel hymn that has these words:

When answers aren’t enough, there is Jesus;
He is more than just an answer to your prayers.
And your hearts will find a safe and peaceful refuge.
When answers aren’t enough, He is there.