Coping With Tragedy Before & After

How do we go about healing after tragedy strikes? Many of us know the feeling of losing a loved one. We as humans tend to want to know why the tragic event happened or why it happened to that person. It is hard to accept things when one does not know the reason as to why it happened, and will often point the finger at God. “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you’” (Isaiah 41:13). We say God allowed this tragedy to happen to me because of my sins, because of my lack of faith I am being punished, and any other excuse you can think of. The Bible states the Devil is the root of “all evil” and God is the root of all good things.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46, NKJV).

There are many scriptures declaring God’s innocence during the times of tragedy. We have to realize you can be Satan’s martyr by blaming God for tragedy, or you can be God’s martyr by becoming stronger in your faith, during tragedy and all other aspects of life.

The best way to deal with tragedy is to think rationally. For example, a family loses a baby and some friends come to comfort the family. They tell the couple they lost their unborn child because God is punishing them for past sins. That is irrational thinking. Why would God kill a child or your loved one to punish you for past sins? If you think rationally, you would think God would not do that, and that if he did punish us he would punish that particular sinner, not the sinner’s loved ones.

Always remind yourself that many tragedies are the result of “time and unforeseen occurrence” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Jesus gave an example of this when he spoke of the collapse of a tower in Siloam, where eighteen people were killed. Jesus made it clear that the “victims of this disaster were not being punished by God.” They died because they where in the wrong place at the wrong time (Luke 13:1-5). Meditating on this fact may help you to cope better when disasters happen. I can truly say the above scriptures helped me cope with the death of a young girl I knew.

The young girl was seventeen years old, a senior in high school, very active, on the dance team, and was well liked. She had been battling pneumonia, but she actually overcame the pneumonia, and a week later she died of heart failure. It was such a shock to the local community, but the online CGI Bible study I viewed on tragedy helped me to think rationally.

We all know the natural process for humans: we all must die one day; we just want our loved ones to die of old age, not pneumonia, diabetes, heart attacks, accidents, etc. Clear thinking can prevent you from becoming angry with God, for the things that took place. “…Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” When tragedy strikes we should draw closer to God, keep doing our daily routines, and keep attending services, not pulling away in anger. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God can not be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” Truly we should prepare ourselves for more tragedies, since we live in what the Bible calls “terrible times” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).