I've blogged for a long time, about ten years now. Once in awhile--not often--I've been surprised by sweetness of friendship with someone I've met only through blogging and subsequent emails. This happened for me recently when a series of coincidences between my life and that of a precious new blogger friend occurred, connections that seemed to shout "Here is a heart friend for you; one connected by His very hand for comradeship on your earth-walk and as a fellow child of God throughout eternity!"
News came this week via this dear new friend of an incomprehensible sorrow. I'm not going to repeat the details here because the story is not mine to share, but even if you (like me) avoid reading newspapers you have not been able to avoid reports of similar grievous events that just make no sense to us.
I'm not going to spend time postulating reasons that bad things happen, I only want to share the phrase that came strongly to me as I began to pray for the family impacted by this sorrow: God has a plan.
How can I convey in mere words the overwhelming sense of comfort and rightness that came with this knowing: our Lord saw this event ahead of time and has planned for it since the beginning of the world. He has a plan for each precious life impacted by this sorrow. Things aren't going to be merely "all right;" they will be surrounded by His presence, shaped by His love, and in the end actually blessed not only despite this terrible grief but even through it.
No, I don't mean to tell someone who has lost a loved one that everything will work out and they'll even be blessed by this loss. This is so trite as to be untrue; our lives are incredibly precious and the Lord Himself wept when his friend, Lazarus, died. But we serve a God who possesses resurrection power, and He does not hesitate to use this power on behalf of His grieving children. He disarms the enemy, provides healing balm for broken hearts, and is able to transform the saddest of circumstances into vehicles for His love to flow.
At the moment of a devastating diagnosis, a tragic event, or any other heartache that can come to us, God is present with us, and He has a plan. We may not be able to see it when we are blinded by grief, but we can trust in the love of our God and know that He is going to see us through according to the beauty of His perfect power over every circumstance of our lives. I've seen this in my mother's life; even a ten year trek through Alzheimer's disease is no match for our Lord. I have seen blessing upon blessing come to our lives not only despite Mom's Alzheimer's, but through it. How like our hero, the Lord Jesus Christ, to use the enemy's ploys as stepping stones to victory!
We can trust our Lord's perfect love and His sovereignty over every circumstance of our lives. I'm praying the peace of this knowledge for people who are hurting today. May our Lord meet your every need and provide you the comfort of His strengthening and healing love.