Look Past Tragedy and See Hope

Posted on: November 12, 2014, by :

Photo by Michael BenderBoldness about the truth of Jesus Christ is what should set Christians apart.  However, far too often what sets us apart are opinions on fairly insignificant things.  Then, when tragedy strikes, we struggle to gain a footing, and we struggle even harder gaining a voice in an otherwise chaotic scene. 

The truth of Jesus Christ makes clear how we can respond to tragedy.  His presence makes clear the otherwise unknowable peace that believers have.  Jesus is the reason we can distinguish hope on the horizon regardless of the trials that are presently surrounding us. 

Dannie and Jordan Greg made that fact very clear to me as we worked to tell their story in Breaking Through the Clouds.  Jesus was the only thing that they could see in the darkness of losing their son Cotton, but He was also the only refuge to which they could run.

     I had never imagined such pain.  I had never thought my heart could feel this way.  It felt like my heart was being stabbed over and over and left to bleed.  I thought, “My baby boy is really gone.”
     I prayed the only thing that came to my lips: “Oh, God, be with me, I need you. Give me the strength to go through this.  Hold my Cotton tight.  I’m holding You to Your word that I will see him again.”

Dannie’s immediate response to learning that the doctors could not save her little boy was to run to the arms of Jesus. 

But why?

What is it about this Jesus that leads me to believe that there is actually hope in the midst of tragedy?

The answer comes from the words of Jesus himself.  As recorded by the writer of the gospel of John, Jesus responds to the death of a close friend of his.  Jesus was being confronted for the fact that he had not arrived in time to save Lazarus, and therefore had failed his friend.  But knowing what he would eventually do on the cross, Jesus took the opportunity to display that he was not only the healer of the sick, he was the giver of life.  Jesus proved that he was able to do what no other in existence could do.  He was about to break the bonds of death, and give life to those who believe. 

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die…” John 11:25-26a

Dannie and Jordan could look to Jesus, because they were assured of his eternal nature.  They found hope in his answer because he had proven that he was not shackled by death. 

The darkness of that night was interrupted by the eternal light emanating from the person of Jesus Christ, across time and across space.  Jesus’ light pierced the darkness of pain and doubt, cutting through a situation that seemed to be an epic loss, but that was revealed to be a brief separation. 

For the promise we have in Jesus is that we, like little Cotton, will never die!