This post is going up on Thanksgiving Day 2008 in the U.S. So what one would expect is a post and a song about how we should be thankful, or some other theme that directly addresses the day. Well, that’s not what I’m going to do — exactly.

There are millions of people around the country and around the world who have nothing but positive things to think about and experience on this day when remember our blessings. But there are millions more who cannot think of anything for which they can be thankful. Are you one of them?

Perhaps it was that conversation with your boss that ended with, “I’m sorry, but we have to let you go.” Now you have no income and no health insurance, and you really need both.

Possibly it was the visit with the doctor, and you got the bad news. Cancer. A bad heart. The need for a risky operation. And you are scared.

Maybe it was that bad news phone call in the middle of the night. An accident has claimed the life of a friend or family member, or the “one phone call” allowed after an arrest.

Regardless of the nature of the disaster, it causes a reaction within. You are stunned. Speechless. Angry. Tearful. Fearful. Perhaps a sense of being trapped. And possibly a sense of the injustice of it all. “I’m a good person! I haven’t killed anybody, I haven’t robbed any banks! Why me!!” Or maybe, “But I’m a Christian! Why didn’t God prevent this?!”

Excellent questions. And not very easy to answer. I could give you theological explanations about why the world is the way it is. Maybe they would satisfy you about the “why”, maybe not. Even with a defense of the world situation that was acceptable, you are still in that situation: The lost job, the health crisis, the family emergency.

My point is that even knowing why the world is the way it is does not bypass that difficult road left to travel. How do you get through this, anyway?

FIrst of all, know that God does care. He knows our sorrows and our burdens. Jesus walked through life and has experienced sadness and sorrow. In Isaiah 53:3 Jesus is described as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. In John 11:35, Jesus is brought face to face with the immense sorrow of the death of his friend Lazarus, and the shortest verse in the Bible reads simply, “Jesus wept.”

Secondly, find people who will care for you in your time of need. Talk to your pastor or a godly counselor. Don’t expect that they will be able to solve all of your problems; just look for a sympathetic, listening ear. And if you who are reading this are not experiencing the life calamity that I’ve described, but you know of someone who is, why don’t you be that kind, listening ear.

The song that I found that prompted this post is Life Is Hard (God Is Good), by Pam Thum from the 1995 album Feel The Healing. I remember hearing this around the time when I first heard from my mother that she had received the diagnosis of lymphoma. It was a comfort to remember that regardless of what we were going to face, that I could be assured that God is good.

You turn the key
And close the door behind you
Drop your bags

You reach for the light
But there’s darkness deep inside
And you can’t take it anymore

‘Cause sometimes livin’
Takes the life out of you
And sometimes livin’
Is all you can do

Life is hard
The world is cold
We’re barely young
And then
We’re old
But every fallen tear
Is always understood
Life is hard

But God is good

You start to cry
‘Cause you’ve been strong for so long
But that’s not how you feel

Oh, you try to pray
But there’s nothing left to say
So you just quietly kneel

In the silence
Of all that you face
God will give you
His mercy and grace

Jesus never said it was
An easy road to travel
He only said
That you would never be alone

When your last thread of hope
Begins to come unraveled
Don’t give up
He’ll walk beside you
On this journey home

And He knows …

Life is hard
The world is cold
You’re barely young
And then
You’re old
But every fallen tear
Is always understood

Life is hard
Oh, life is hard
But God is good

Link on iTunes Store

One response to “Disaster”

  1. Thank you for such a beautiful statement of encouragement and hope. God said He would never leave us or forsake us. It is nice to remember what God’s word says to us in the midst of the storms. we just need to believe it and faith it will be alright. The words to the song are awesome.


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