This is the third article in a three-part series from our Director of Counseling Services on loss, which addresses how to deal with the emotional impacts of loss through grief, compassion fatigue, and finding life in death.
Amid all the awareness of death and loss in the last few weeks, God has proven faithful to show He makes all things new.
On the very day I had heard news of the devastating loss of a family member, a co-worker pulled me aside to chat about a loved one's spiritual growth and awakening. This was the story of a young adult, searching for meaning and belonging, love and acceptance in life. Several weeks earlier this co-worker and I had discussed a new ministry that I was made aware of with a mission to help young people find their identity in Christ. My co-worker had shared this ministry with her loved one and was telling me of how God was working in the life of this young adult. My eyes filled with tears. I found joy in knowing of this young adult discovering spiritual truth and life. In that moment, I was reminded of how our mighty, wondrous God brings life to those who seek Him.
Again, God nudged my spirit as I listened to a family share faith in the wake of such great loss. I watched as a grandfather spoke to the media saying their faith in God is what gets the family through such a tough time. He followed up by quoting the hymn lyrics "in times like these, you need a Savior." He later stated, "I don't see how people go through situations like this without having a relationship with the Lord."
Through great tragedy, God's Word was proclaimed … possibly to many who have never heard before. What a testimony of faith and an example of how God can bring life from death.
Charleston, South Carolina. You know the story. Great loss, yet once again God and His Word are proclaimed from tragedy. One man chose to reach out to the shooter in the best way he knew how – sharing Christ and the story of forgiveness on the shooter's Facebook page. This post was shared by over 3,000 on social media. The story has been viewed by over 10 million on this linked article – and there are many more articles, interviews and videos that have resulted from this post. So are you seeing what I'm seeing? Through great tragedy, God is once again revealing Himself to the hearts of many. Revealing life from death.
For the Christ follower, we know the victory has been won. Jesus has risen and conquered sin and death. We truly know how life comes from death. I don't know why bad things happen to good people. But I do know that God can trade beauty for ashes, turn evil for good and write the best redemption stories. So while we grieve, whatever the loss may be, I pray we will also see how He can make all things new.
Other articles in this series: