When Bad Things happen to Good People.
How do we, as Christians who believe in a loving, just, and good God, cope when tragic things happen to us? I found myself in this situation when the doctor told me that our 15 week old unborn baby was going to die. It was like a nightmare and certainly something that happens to other families. But it happened to my husband and me. The baby had developed major chromosomal abnormalities when, soon after conception, the chromosomes didn’t divide correctly. I was told that he (we later discovered he was a boy) would have major intellectual and physical disabilities and would most likely die before my due date. How does one walk that journey? I found comfort in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God...” I looked to other Christian material to find guidance but mostly found stories about healing. There was no guide to navigate this tragedy. But we know that healing doesn’t happen to everyone. Faithful Christians have died in car and plane crashes and from cancer. I studied tragedy and suffering in the bible and found that there was plenty of it. As Christians we aren’t wrapped in cotton wool and made immune to it. God showed me a picture of a T-junction and seemed to be asking me to choose either His way of getting through this or the opposite, the world’s way. His way was to trust Him to strengthen and sustain me. I chose His way and, to my delight, found that my faith went from strength to strength. I learnt to cling to God in a way I’d never needed to before. Ten days after the first diagnosis the baby was born. He was about 20 cm long and red all over. Half of his stomach was in his umbilical chord and had a large fluid-filled sac on his neck. He was wrapped up in a little blanket and Johannes and I held him and thought of all the potential that would never be. We named him Peter. I took comfort in the fact that Peter’s abnormalities were so bad he was better off not to have lived. We said goodbye and left him at the hospital the next day. We already had two young sons so I had to focus on the day-to-day realities of looking after them, which probably helped. We held a memorial service at our Church soon after. Friends were wonderfully supportive with kind words, hugs, cards, and flowers. One lady gave me a piece of great advice; to grieve fully and not try to suppress it. I read lots about grief and the various stages one goes through. Three years later we had another son who was completely healthy. Now they are all growing up fast, with two at high school and one at primary school. Kaye Palmer , Adelaid
Seek treasure. Christopher and Robert, two blonde-haired boys of six and eight years of age, sons of my best friend, were an imaginative pair.
They were rich and in possession of a treasure chest of gold and jewels beyond rich. The treasure chest was theirs because they had fought the pirates and won the treasure. They had it all.
Two pairs of blue eyes glowed with the fire of adventure as they dug a hole on a sandy beach under a palm tree on an island in the Ocean of Nowhere. They marked the spot X on a map they had made of crocodile skin.
A battle with the enemy ensued. Chris and Rob had hidden in the jungle but alas the angry pirates discovered them. The two boys fought to the last breath. They were left battered, bleeding and bruised, but the enemy were all dead to a man.
The dream faded. The treasure vanished. All that was left were pieces of broken tile, bits of timber, a plastic runnel and scraps of rubber. The tropical island faded to become a suburban backyard, filled with the paraphernalia of a family. The ordinary took over.
There is a treasure that doesn’t vanish, that doesn’t tarnish, that never loses its value. A wealth that lights up our life with joy, love, peace. In today’s world of mental illness, homelessness and poverty, these are treasures that glow white-hot in the darkness.
Where do we find this treasure? The map is the Bible. It will tell us all we need to know about how to find the treasure. The treasure I’m talking about is Jesus, God’s Son. When we have Jesus, we have everything, untapped treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Thought for the Day: For where your heart is, there will be your treasure.