Christian Living

Comfort in Tragedy

Tony Stone

“What were you doing when you found out about the terror attack on Boston?” 

That question reminds many of us of a similar question asked about 9/11.  These moments stay galvanized in our minds and the emotions remain encapsulated in our memory bank for years to come.  When I heard of the Boston attack, I momentarily felt a rush of similar feelings that I had when the September 11th attacks happened- vulnerability, perplexity, and sorrow.  Vulnerability because I realize how amazingly fragile we are as humans.  Perplexity because the full scope of the tragedy was unknown.  Sorrow, because chaos is not what God designed this world for.  These are healthy responses to tragedy, but what keeps us from responding wrongly to these emotions?  What keeps us from making our sense of vulnerability into an obsessive need for control?  What keeps perplexity from morphing into anxiety, and sadness from spiraling into despair?

These emotions ought to be filled up with God Himself for our joy and to highlight the supreme worth of God.  Think of our raw emotions as on ramps into the fullness of God bidding us to be satisfied in God.  Consider these emotions as beacons of light that draw attention to the sufficiency of the triune God and our utter need for Him.   Let’s consider the fullness of God.

God is fully in control, we can trust Him with our vulnerability:

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,

and his kingdom rules over all. – Psalm 103:19

God is full in understanding, bring our perplexity to Him in the midst of tragedy:

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;

his understanding is beyond measure. Psalm 147:5

God is full of comfort, an ample supply for our sorrow as we eagerly anticipate the final restoration of all things:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort 1 Corinthians 3

God is full and He gives sinners the privilege of His fullness through the person and work of Christ.  Jesus became vulnerable (Hebrews 2:14), experienced the ultimate perplexity of the cross as His Father poured out His wrath (Matthew 27:46), and regularly entered into our own grief and sadness (John 11:35).  Jesus gave His life for us that we may live.  It’s by faith in Christ that we can take our vulnerability, our perplexity, and our sorrow to Him, casting our burdens on Him, because He cares.  As we deal with the fall out, remember the one who suffered more than all of us and who is able to comfort us with all of His own fullness.

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