HOPE IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY

This time of the year with all the holiday cheer, there are often thoughts and tears of tragedy from a loss in our life. If you have ever faced unexpected tragedy you know about the craving for assurances. You, a friend, or a family member may have felt the gaping wound caused by divorce, death, disease, or a disheveled dream. You may be searching for answers that will mend and heal. There is hope.

* Someday you will be you again. Things will never be the way they were. After tragedy has struck you are severely wounded. Things will be better, or they will be worse; they will not be restored to how they were. But the good news is that you can carry on as a wounded survivor and face the days ahead with hope of recovery.

* Let God work. Don’t attempt to advise God as to what is best for you. God will make a way for you. Remember that God’s way is not your way. Trust God to do His maintaining, providing,    healing, sustaining, and guiding. Lay aside your human expectations so that you can see God’s answers. Sometimes when solutions are given, you reject them because you had in mind something different, or something easier. If you are trying to figure out how to make it through one of the roughest times you’ve ever encountered, you are not in the position to pick and choose answers. Your only hope lies in the Lord.

* Make wise choices. You have more control over the situation than you might imagine. While you do not have the choice to turn back the clock and restore things to their original order, you do have the choice of going under or going up. Which way is up to you. Every situation, every pain, can go one of two ways; it can depress or motivate. It’s up to you. When you encounter tragedy you can spend your remaining days saturated in grief – blaming God, blaming others, and  blaming yourself – or, learn from the hurt. What you learn of pain will find purpose in helping others who hurt.

* Accept God’s offer. Anticipate that He will come through for you. You can plan to be “all right.” You can intend to let the Heavenly Father handle your private situation with class. The choice is yours. He can get you “unstuck” and get you moving again, but you have to give Him something to work with.

* Acknowledge the pain. He does not minimize your pain. The Lord is not in denial; neither does He expect you to be. God cares. He has not abandoned you. He is right beside you and has been there all along. He hears your sobs and He sees your tears. Some feel if you acknowledge and embrace by pain that you will be stuck with it forever.  The fact is you cannot move anything until you take hold of it.

* Let the healing begin. God is neither handicapped nor weary in the midst of your pain. Nor is He confused or baffled. His strength will deliver you – not barely, but mightily. Then you will be able to praise Him and give Him the glory due His mighty work in your life.

Dr Dale Ackley

Author: A Shepherd's Voice

Dale Ackley is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN.) and works with the pastors in California in the area of Ministerial Care. He has an earned doctorate in Psychology and Counseling and an earned doctorate in Ministry. He married the love of his life in 1967 and has two grown sons and four grandchildren. He and his wife Kathy reside in Fresno, CA.

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