The Beauty in Tragedy

“I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.’” (Lamentations 3:55-7).
We know that tragedy comes to everyone. It’s an inevitable truth that we will all face tragedy in life. It might come in the form of death, sickness, depression, betrayal—there are numerous ways that we might experience tribulation and hardship.
           
It is not God’s plan that we should have to know heartbreak—He intended for us to never know death or sadness or fear, but because we live in a fallen world, we know the sting of earthly pain.  
           
Although we must endure tragedies, God uses these moments of intense struggle to bring about rebirth, rejuvenation, and wisdom that we would have otherwise never known had we never known tragedy.
           
The holiday season often makes us reflect on our year. What did we do with this year? What were the best times, the worst times? What will we remember the most about this past season of life? We find ourselves in a state of reflection during the Christmas season as we prepare for another year.
           
It’s very possible that this past year held many trials for you. Presently, it seems that there are many causes for concern and anxiety, and the Lord said that we would face trials in the last hours. Even so, we serve a God who does not let our pain go to waste. He may allow disruptions to happen—our plans and dreams may get changed; our feet may falter; we may see the pain of death and depression and sickness, and we might have a terrible fear of the unknown, but God is near. He hears the pleas of His children, and He says, “Do not fear.”
           
While this year or this season might have been one of the most difficult of your life, God does amazing things in the middle of our pain. He makes beauty from ashes. As you reflect on this year and this season, remember how He has been with you. Think of the incredible things that He’s done even in the midst of struggle—things that you never would have seen had you never experienced pain.
           
Affliction is not always a bad thing, as it causes us to be mindful of our blessings and, hopefully, revives us from our state of complacency so that we will live with zeal and thankfulness. We are reminded in Romans that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (5:3). Without afflictions, we would never understand the true power of hope because there would be no need to hope for anything. But as we know from exploring the Christmas story, there is a glorious and eternal hope beyond the pains of this world, and we wait with an eager expectation for His coming.
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