There is nothing like having dear friends and family by your side when experiencing a tragedy in your life. When thinking back across the course of my 25 years of life, I can honestly say that I am so grateful to God for the people that stood by me through the highs, but especially, through the lows. I know I am not very “old and wise” but I do have personal experience to speak about. I grew up in a small town where mostly everybody knew everybody. There was a Wal-Mart and a Target, a movie theater and a Rec-Center, fields and backroads, and bonfires and camping. I guess you could say, although it was a small town, we had just about everything kids need to grow up having fun. However, from the time I was in middle school up until now, sadly, I can say that I know at least 20 young people who have lost their lives (and there may even be more). Anyone would ask the question, but especially as a kid, you always wonder ‘why’? Why would someone so young lose their life; they haven’t experienced enough yet. These questions may never get answered, but as Christian we know that God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts, higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Just 2 days ago, as I sit here today and write this devotional for you, I lost another dear friend who was full of life, adventure, joy and laughter. After attending his Grandmother’s funeral in a different state, he was struck by a drunk driver and immediately went to heaven. Of course, this loss has not been even the slightest bit easy, but I am so thankful for Jesus and the hope that is found in knowing Him. Through all of the losses I have experienced, which there are too many, all I know is I can stand firm on the foundation of God and His promises. I am thankful for the people who God has brought into my life who stand beside me through the tragedies. Even more so, I am grateful that I get to be the strength for others around me who experience tragedy of their own. I give all the glory and all the praise to God for what He has done in my life that has made me able to stand. I pray that this devotional does not leave you feeling sad or angry for me or for the losses that you have experienced, but that you would feel tenacious and strong through the mighty power of God. I can honestly say that without Jesus, friends and family acting as my support system through the hard times in life, I would not have made it through as strong on the other end.
The bible says in Ephesians 2:16-18 MSG
“Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.”
It is true, we all have a different story and different experiences, we all have different mountains and different valleys, however, we have the same Savior that ends hostility, brings peace, makes us equal, and freely gives access to our Heavenly Father. As your sisters go through trials and tragedies, can I challenge you to be the strong woman in their life? Will you stand with them and pray for them that God would supernaturally intervene in their life? When we are at our weakest and experiencing our darkest times, God’s presence is even more real and tangible. Seek His sweet presence with the people that God has placed in your life, and He will never let you down.
Devoted Devotional By Carley Hanlon