Last week the kids and I noticed that it got extremely dark mid morning, and even though there wasn’t a tornado warning, we retreated to the basement waiting for the storm to pass. Little did we know that at that exact time the wind actually blew over a large maple tree across the street from where Alan was working, smashing in a garage and killing a young father who was just shooing his six children and wife inside away from the threatening weather.
The tragedy immediately brought to mind the terrible wind storm some years back that left 600,000 people out of power in southwest Michigan (including our family) and knocked over about 20 mature trees in a straight path through our woods as well as bringing down a giant tree that landed (literally) inches away from the bedroom windows where Kathy (upstairs) and our three oldest sons (downstairs) were sleeping. That storm left the indelible understanding in my brain that disaster can strike anyone unexpectedly at any moment! “Time and chance happens to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).
News accounts this week mentioned that the family are members at Resurrection Life Church, and that their faith has been sustaining them amidst this incomprehensible tragedy, most importantly—the knowledge that their dad was saved by faith in Christ and is now in heaven—the secure final home for all who repent of their sins and accept Christ’s free gift of salvation. I can think of no greater comfort for someone who has lost a loved one. And yet, it’s hard to imagine life without father. The dad was 38. When Alan and I were 38, we also had six kids about the ages of theirs. It could have been us. Why them?Tragedy is like that. It leaves us bewildered, and I think in this world we are often left with no obvious answer to the events that occur around us. I do know that God desires us to trust Him even though we can’t understand Him. I hope that as I experience more of the disasters of life I can react like this amazing family.
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..
He also shall be my salvation” (Job 13:15-16).