Healing,  My Salvation

When Tragedy Strikes

tragedyWhen personal tragedy strikes, it can be very easy to be so overcome with grief and anger that it can block out the truth about God. I have seen it happen many times, even in my own life. As a matter of fact, the devil counts on using tragedy to steal us away.

I have been working diligently to overcome the trauma of my past for almost four years now. Through it all Jesus has blessed me abundantly, by taking my hand and walking me through this life. He has renewed me in so many ways, yet it has been like walking on a tightrope, not knowing if I was going to fall back into the pit of despair.

I have struggled greatly with understanding why God has allowed so much suffering in my life. It was actually easier to overcome my past trauma than it has been to deal with any current problems. I have been struggling with various health issues over the years, and as each problem starts to become overwhelming to me, I would feel the anger and resentment bubbling up inside me towards Jesus.

Why would He bring me so far, only to let me suffer all over again? Surely a God who loves me and cares for me would not stand idly by and watch me continue to suffer. Why rescue me from so much tragedy only to allow more of it to befall me? I could not understand it.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

God knows my heart. He knows I never wanted evil or to participate in evil. All I ever wanted was to stop the suffering and be loved and accepted. Yet somehow that was never good enough. No matter what I did, the pain and suffering never stopped. So when I met Jesus and I felt His loving embrace around me I knew I had finally found my home. My safe place to land. Yet how can a safe place allow suffering and pain in?

Recently I experienced a terrible set back when my beloved pet suddenly had to undergo major surgery. It felt like such an attack from the enemy because it came so unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. I felt sure that, because Jesus loved me He was going to miraculously heal her. I know the power God wields, greater than all the works of the devil. Surely the God who can part the Red Sea will heal this poor, innocent creature.

Yet it wasn’t to be so. We had to make a very quick decision to relieve her suffering by allowing the vet to perform surgery. We had only one day to make the decision, and I prayed and implored God to heal her because I know He loves all creation deeply, yet I knew it was not to be so.

I blamed myself for what happened to her because the news about her condition came directly after a huge breakthrough in my inner healing. I was sure that the occult was using this as a way to punish me for breaking free from more strongholds they had over me. Even though it was never my fault I had to connect in the first place, I felt so guilty and so torn apart to see more suffering of innocent beings because of evil.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, no pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

I have witnessed so much evil in my life. If I could wash my hands and walk away from evil forever, I would. Since we live in a fallen world, that just isn’t possible. We are going to have to continue to see how evil causes pain and tragedy in this world because of the consequences of sin. We cannot change sins effect on this world, but we cannot ignore it either. We are going to have to face it head on, with unyielding prayer and by relentlessly pursuing Jesus.

Once I realized that Jesus was not going to heal my precious little animal, I became despondent. How could He do this to me? How could He let evil win? What kind of loving God would let an innocent creature take on the punishment that belonged to me? Or even allow her to suffer at all? Why does good have to constantly be demoralized by evil, being ruthlessly trampled on?

It was as if all the pain and suffering I had been dealing with in my inner healing were now right at the forefront of my life. I felt so much resentment and anger towards Jesus at that moment and I could not believe He was the kind and loving God that cares for me. I felt He was a cruel and powerless God who allows evil to prevail in this world.

The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Proverbs 16:4

I believe we all have these moments, where we feel so overcome and helpless because of the role evil has played in our lives. It might be because of our own tragedy, or those we love, but we begin to be disheartened by how evil seems to have its way. Sometimes this world feels like it is just evil, and there is no good. Sometimes we feel like we are the evil ones, playing a part in the downfall of our lives.

This is what Lucifer sets us up to believe from a very early age. He wants us to believe that evil overpowers good, that God is helpless, and that we are all victims to his schemes. He wants us to believe we can never win, but we are always going to be set up to fail, and therefore we might as well give up and give in now. Not everyone sees the role Lucifer has played in their lives, but if you recognize the truth in any of these statements, then you know you too have fallen prey to his lies.

The truth is, Jesus loves my little animal, and no animal is ever forgotten by God. And as much as God loves all creation, He loves people even more. We are His children, created in His image, and given an inheritance of eternal life in His Kingdom. Satan may be having a good time right now, but in the scope of eternity, this is just a short season, that lasts just the blink of an eye.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.  Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12:6-8

We cannot wish away the effects of sin in this world, but we can use them to draw closer to Jesus. It is only through a relationship with Jesus Christ that we can live in this fallen world. We will never truly understand sin and why evil is allowed to remain, but with the help of Jesus, we will begin to see we can overcome it.

There is always a way to overcome evil: the power of God inside of us. Satan does not have the right to control our lives unless we allow him too, and the way that happens is by completely ignoring the evil in our own hearts. When I agreed that Jesus is cruel and powerless, I agreed with evil and began to be my own God. Was I consciously making a decision to say “I am my own God. I want to be God.”? No. Yet by agreeing with these truths it was the same as agreeing to be a god, just like with Adam and Eve. That is what allowed evil into my heart that day, just the same as it was in the Garden of Eden.

Does that mean that I am evil? No. Agreeing with evil, or evil participating in evil does not make one evil. It takes much more than that. Lucifer not only decided to turn his back on God and be his own god, but he also did it with an unrepentant heart that had no desire to repent. Repentance is the key to God’s Kingdom, and Lucifer willingly gave it up. I did not.

As a matter of fact, I spent several days going back and forth as I wrestled with my feelings of being angry and resentful, and repenting for trying to be my own god. Truly, it is not the first time I have had to repent of that, and it probably won’t be the last. I am human, and with all the trauma I have been through, it is going to take time to fully trust in Jesus without doubting. Jesus understands this, and more importantly, He knows my heart. He knows that I will always come back around to humility and repentance because His love is my only home.

I have spent a lot of life being angry and resentful because of the tragedy that overcame me daily. I believed it was because of God that I had to suffer. What I didn’t understand is that there truly is more than one god, and the one that wanted me to suffer was not the True and Living God, but the god of this world. Once I began to understand the difference between a loving God and a god that appears to love you but only tortures you instead, I began to be able to recognize the difference.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Our God, Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh, is supreme over all creation. That means He is supreme even over the works of the devil and the schemes of man. Everything must submit to the power and authority of God through Christ Jesus. No other power can be exempt. Does this mean God does allow evil? No. What this means is our God is a God of mercy, who allows free will. He does not want to force anyone to worship him as other gods do but instead gives us the choice to do as we please.

For some, this means to worship foreign gods, and for others, it means to choose the One True Living God and forsake all others. For those of us that don’t choose God, we choose instead the devil, because all other foreign gods lead to Satan. When people choose Satan, they choose self-worship and idolatry of evil, whether they know what they are doing or not. This is what allows evil into the world, not God.

If God was to remove all evil from this world, we would see the great flood part two. As long as man has free will, there will be some who choose evil over good. Even that does not make a man evil, because only the desire to exalt yourself to the place of God with no intent for repentance can.

So for today, I will continue to give myself over the Lord, learning to trust in Him, and believe He is a God of mercy, kindness, love, compassion, and truth, who is trustworthy. I will submit myself to Him, even when I don’t understand, and when I cannot do that, I will wrestle with Him into He breaks every stronghold keeping me from Him. I will honor Him in times of trouble and worship Him in times of need because I am no longer the master of my own universe.  I will humbly bow down to the Master who created the Universe instead.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:15