Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Old Rugged Cross"1 (Lyrics)
It was a regular day at home. As I went about my usual activities, the doorbell rang. I made my way to answer the ring. What a surprise! A policeman stood before me.
Thoughts were racing through my mind: "Why would this policeman be here? What could possibly be wrong?"
Like a sharp, penetrating knife, his words cut through me as he explained the reason for his visit. Chris, our 24-year-old son had been in a motor vehicle accident in Michigan. He was dead.
That was the beginning of a hard, dark season in my life. Everything seemed black. How could I go on? How could God have let this happen to Chris? I had prayed for him that very morning. Why didn't God keep him safe?
Each day was a chore to keep going. In the mornings as was my custom, I would have a time of reading the Bible and praying. My usual ritual was adjusted as I got out the picture that Chris had given me and held it in my hands. Tears would fall on the picture as I prayed. Each day, God heard from me the same stories about Chris — over and over. I asked God how He could have let this happen to my son in light of the prayers that I had offered for him just a few hours before the accident.
Long ago, as a child, I had received Jesus as my Saviour. Then many years later, the day had come when I realized that Jesus calls us to surrender our lives to Him and follow Him. I made that decision. But now, life had dealt me a horrendous blow! I was disappointed with God. How could I continue with a God who hadn't kept my son safe when I had prayed for him?
Into this cloud of sadness dropped words: "To whom else shall I go?" Repeatedly those words hung there before me in the mornings as I wept over Chris' picture and pondered. The words reminded me of a passage of Scripture occasioned when some of Jesus' followers were leaving Him because they found His teachings hard to accept.
John 6:67-68 – "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (NIV)
I began to consider the teachings of Jesus. How wise and how good were the ways Jesus taught people to live — so very much wisdom and insight! Jesus taught about love, forgiveness, and kindness towards others. What better way was there to live than to follow Him?
There are occasions in life when we are unexpectedly disappointed and saddened. We may feel that God has let us down, and we cannot understand why He has let this happen. We may never understand some things in this life, but God can help us. He can speak to us through the words of the Bible. There, we find Jesus revealed — God's gift of love. He guides us along the way forward, steadying our feet on the path before us and helping us. He gives us the words of eternal life.
Prayer: God of mercy, You know and understand how we feel when life confronts us with harsh realities. You are there to help us and guide us along the way. While we may not always understand Your ways, You have promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Help those of us who suffer this day. Grant us comfort, strength, and hope each day. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.