Peace In Pain

Has something ever happened in your life that you felt was your fault, no matter how improbable that may be? I think we’ve all been there at one point or another. Maybe we were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe we didn’t speak up when we could have. We never know what the future holds or where our decisions may lead us, but we know the One who does. He will never make us walk through it alone.

When my mom was just 12 years old, she was water skiing on a lake in Canada with her father and some family friends. It was her turn behind the boat, and she was excited to be doing quite well. Everyone on the boat was turned around watching her and cheering her on. Reveling in their praise, she suddenly noticed the cliffs looming in front of them. She knew she had to warn the passengers. Yelling and screaming, she frantically begged them to turn around, but they had no idea what she was saying!

Grasping at the only thing she knew to do, she let go of the rope. Maybe if they weren’t watching her anymore, they would turn around and see the rocks! But when she surfaced, she saw the wreckage before her; the boat had run straight into the cliffs. Swimming as quickly as she could, she reached the boat and was devastated with what was before her. Her father and the young girl were badly hurt, and the two-year-old boy died on impact.

This tragic event stayed with my mom. She replayed it often in her mind. Maybe if she hadn’t been skiing, that little boy would still be alive. Maybe if she had been able to warn them sooner, they could have heard her and turned the boat away from the shore. Maybe if…but there are no valid maybes.

Survivor’s Guilt: a phenomenon in which someone survives a traumatic event thinking he/she didn’t deserve to survive. Or, worse yet, they think they did something wrong by surviving. Recently, survivor’s guilt has been recognized as a symptom of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Tragic events will happen. Life doesn’t always go just as we planned. In the blink of an eye, the trajectory of our lives can change without warning. It is in those times that we must find comfort in the arms of Jesus. He knows what we are going through, and He cares. While we may feel that we did something wrong or that we could have done something better, God knew exactly what was going to happen long before it did, and He will walk with us through it.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT

My mother was just a little girl, too young to experience such a horrific event. Not long after this happened, her dad passed away due to other health related issues. While she carried the weight of this boating memory and her father's untimely passing, she learned to find comfort in the perfect grace of God.

The story doesn’t end there though. Our God, in His infinite grace and mercy, saw fit to give my mother the closure she didn’t even know she needed. Just this week, my aunt sent her a stack of letters my grandfather had written to his sister before he passed away. In one of them, he described the tragic incident and was very clear that my mother had done everything she could to warn them and it wasn't her fault. When she read those simple words, she crumbled into tears. How good is our Heavenly Father that He gave her this gift? He often gives us beyond anything we ever ask or think. We can trust Him with our grief, our shame, our sadness, and our guilt, and He will always give us the peace and comfort we need.
JOURNAL: What do you need to lay at Jesus’ feet today? None of your emotions can scare Him. He is ready and waiting to give you the peace and comfort you need.

ACTIVATION: Read these verses on comfort and peace and pray them over your life.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. - John 14:27 NLT

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. - Psalm 23:4 NLT

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. - Nehemiah 8:10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. - 2 Corinthians 12:9

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live,  for your law is my delight. - Psalm 119:50, 76-77
Posted in
Posted in

No Comments