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Beautiful Tragedy - A Devotion

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Psalm 130:5-6 (NLT)
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

What is it about tragedy that catches our attention? Why are we transfixed by drama in life? We cannot stop watching. Life is a beautiful tragedy. We are all born dying from the moment we draw our first breath while desperately trying to avoid it. The answer to death is life. Humanity has been given the opportunity to live yet many are determined to continue in the darkness that leads to death. It is enticing and seductive as the inevitable calls. What is the point of grace if we could ever truly change? Yet in that moment when the tragedy of life becomes a reality, it is then that we truly try to find life everlasting. Death is not as inviting as once thought so in our desperation to survive – the source of hope becomes our greatest aspiration.

I am counting on the Lord. Yes, I am counting on Him today. I have put all my hope in His Word after manmade medicine and methods have failed to heal our son’s body. Yet in this moment of revelation, my feet seem frozen in this place. I long for the Lord as a sentry longs for dawn. Waiting and watching over the long isolation of night, my expectation is fully on Him now. The night has played tricks on me trying to get me to let go. There have been so many ups and downs that all I really want is to get off this rollercoaster that looks strangely like my life but I refuse to until this ride is over and we can exit safely together. My hands are weak, my shoulders slumped and my back aching in position. My knees are weak from living on them for so long. Is it the dawn of His Righteousness heralding His Arrival that I see on the horizon or just another day in this beautiful tragedy called life?

Habakkuk 2:1-4 (NLT)
I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.”

The watchtower has become my home. I stand guard over His Word for our life waiting, watching and wondering when it will come to pass all the time whispering to myself “this too shall pass.” I have climbed up and down the ladder of this place too many times to count. One minute thinking enough is enough only to be reminded that His Word is true (Psalm 33:4) so I climb back into position daring to trust Him even more. The moment that I feel strong, I find that I am suddenly weak.

Today as I go through my things making final preparations to accompany our son through what we hope and believe will be the last stand against cancer, I am not worried or afraid just ready. I feel ready to burst with expectation and hope that this will be when God’s Word will finally come to pass in his life. Write my answer and I have over and over as I remind myself that the Lord said that this boy will live and not die. I want the message to go out to the rest of the world that Jesus saves. He is our Healer, Deliverer and Strong Tower. God has never left us or forsaken us yet on certain days I feel so alone. His Spirit rises up to comfort and encourage me – “just a little bit longer.” So I wait and wait and wait some more. The righteous live by their faithfulness to God. Righteousness is nothing that I do but my ability to wait on the Lord remaining faithful to my position as Child of God until He brings His Will to pass in my life. I have no control over timing or scheduling. Most days, it feels like I have little control of myself at all. But if I can just hold this position by faith grasping tight my confident hope that He is faithful – it will come to pass.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 (NLT)
I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.

Life is not fair. I have told this to our children for years. We are not born to entitlement. We are all sinners in need of a savior. The only satisfaction that will ever bring contentment is a life surrendered to Jesus Christ otherwise we will end up caught in the words of Solomon experiencing the sudden tragedy of a life wasted pursing lesser things than the Kingdom of Heaven and our inheritance as God’s Own Children. Good people die young. The guilty go unpunished. The rich get richer and the poor remain impoverished. This world is by chance for those who choose to remain of it. But we have been offered a much better option a fairytale ending to this beautiful tragedy we call life. It begins with the Prince of Peace passionately pursing His Bride with unfailing love and devotion. A successful life is not gauged by our accomplishments in this life because not a single one will get us out of dying or past the grave. The only thing that gives us any hope at all is our faith in God. I would be lying if I did not admit that the last three years have changed my perspective on life dramatically but not as Solomon professed. I have faith in God that is now secured by confident hope. I thought I believed in the Lord until I was forced to really trust Him. Through this journey the things of this world have found their proper place, and all that matters is Jesus Christ! The trap is set by the enemy to get caught up in this life when there is so much more offered in our new life in Him.

Isaiah 50:4-5 (NLT)
The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. The Sovereign LORD has spoken to me, and I have listened. I have not rebelled or turned away.

I will be the first to admit that I am just like everybody else. I usually give my attention to the loudest voice or greatest need in that moment rather than taking time to decide what is truly worthy of my time. Always trying to put out fires. Fix everything. Find a way out. Make a better life. It is only when I fail at this monumental task that I have come to know and understand that importance of God’s Word in my life. Morning by morning – He awakens me. Each morning that you open your eyes with breath in your body is a day of purpose in the Lord. He wants you to know His Will because it leads to life. We find life in His Word as it reveals the Will of God for us. Too often we allow the world to dictate the outcome of our circumstances and situations because of ignorance. Remember – a lack of knowledge causes my people to perish. In that instant that we believe – not kind of sort of believe – but lay my life on the line believe that His Word is true enough to pursue its meaning and understand what He is telling us – everything changes because we are given a new life. It may look a whole lot like your old one but its not. It takes every detail of your unfruitful and unfulfilling existence that is really just making the best of it until you die and turns into His Promises, Prosperity and Future Hope that always day in and day out leads to life. You will never fully embrace life until you come close to losing it. Maybe that is why Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

James 1:17-18 (NLT)
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

I have been thinking lately about all the people who have begun following our Facebook posts about our son, Brenan. People who like statuses and send messages that they are praying for him over the course of his battle that are longtime friends. There are some who have become a part of our life simply because of the journey that we are on. Hence my belief that tragedy brings people together. It is tragic that he has lost time living his life because he is victim of a terrible disease that he did nothing to obtain. I wonder how many people stay transfixed by his story because they believe that there is a sad ending. They pity us. There are quite a few. Like a storm gathering strength on the horizon, I cannot help but believe that in the midst of this beautiful tragedy God is doing something magnificent. Something so wonderful that He is getting the attention of as many people as possible so that when He acts it will not go unnoticed. Is it possible that He is getting ready to manifest His Presence on the earth and by allowing the enemy to threaten one of His Own, He will in the end be glorified? How can it be possible in the midst of all the surgeries, treatments and side effects? God has a plan and purpose for our son’s life that contains a future and hope. It is a good plan not for his disaster but a glorious destiny. (Jeremiah 29:11) How do I know this to be true? It is nothing more or less than God’s Word working its way through our life. If I commit this process to the Lord, it will be good in the end. He promised to make every single detail turn out for our own good. (Romans 8:28) This life leads to death. It will always lead to death because it is invested with sin. We don’t have to die but can choose to live. My son is God’s Prized Possession. My total belief in this Truth allows me to stand on this watchtower and wait even wondering about what is next in total expectation that this beautiful tragedy will express the Glory of God when it’s complete and will lack no good thing! In the meantime, I will not abandon my faith until it does!

Proverbs 8:34-35 (NLT)
Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.

Today as I finish packing my suitcase, make last minute lists, and hug my precious girls one more time before I go, there is joy in my heart. The Peace of God reigns in our hearts and in our home like never before. No matter what the next few months hold in our life, I know that God is good. He never changes. No matter what I am going through His Unfailing Love and Goodness are pursuing me. I am never alone. I didn’t find these truths in a sermon, a book or from a great orator of theology. I found the Truth in this beautiful tragedy that we have been living. When my heart broke, Jesus healed it. When it broke again with each diagnosis, He was faithful and true to be my glue. When every door closed, He opened the right one at just the right time. When we exhausted all efforts, He turned it all around. When I didn’t think I could make it through one more day, I woke up the next morning with new mercy waiting for me. The Lord took my weak faith and built a platform for my life. It is strong and sturdy now. Storms cannot knock it down for the Expert Builder has perfected it. He is my Cornerstone. I can say today that it is well with my soul and mean it. No longer is this my fake it until you faith it phrase but the life that I live. When I am weak, He is my Strength. When I am tired, He lifts me up. I have tried the Lord testing Him at His Word and you know what I found? It’s TRUE! All of it without exception is working in my life. This hope that I have will never lead to disappointment because no matter how hard life gets or horrible my circumstances – He is always good! If I will just watch for Him and wait for Him living in His Presence, I will not be disappointed. In fact, I will find new life and live again.

John 16:33 (NLT)
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus didn’t promise you a better life now without many trials and sorrow. What He did promise was that you and I would overcome the world. The One who has taken hold of your heart is the Prince you have been waiting for. He offers peace in the midst of turmoil. Rest in chaos. Hope rather than despair. The Lord is offering you victory today. It begins inside your heart. It will then carry over to your mind. In time, it will change your thoughts and attitudes until you begin speaking what God has to say about you rather than grumbling and complaining. One day you will find that you actually believe God’s Word to be true and somehow you are right where the Lord wants you to be even though it is taking all of His Grace and Mercy to keep you there. There is purpose and meaning in everything God allows to pass through our life. Take your heart back today and secure it with faith that refuses to move until the Glory of God passes through your life. Decide that you will not leave your watchtower until His Promise comes to pass in your life. You will be tempted and taunted but do not give up. Those who are successful in surrendering there heart, mind, soul and body to Jesus Christ and living a life of faith that is covered in confident hope and demonstrated by living what you believe will find that their beautiful tragedy is actually the Greatest Love Story of all time.

John 1:4 (NLT)
The Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone.

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