Wednesday, January 18, 2017


You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

~Psalm 30:11-12
Last week, God used someone else's tragedy to open my eyes.
This week - as the tragedy became greater - HE is using it to give me hope and remind me of HIS glory.

What began as a story about a family of four in an auto accident - with one family member killed and another in the hospital - has become an 11-year-old little girl left in a world without her big sister, her father, AND her mother. So many of us have been praying and asking God for a miracle while watching the heart-wrenching scenario unfold. And now we are left with what would appear to be a tale which cannot possibly have a "happily-ever-after".

But GOD.

That is, perhaps there would be no possibility of a "happily-ever-after" if God were not in the picture.
But, HE IS.
As I sat with the news of the mother's death and the knowledge that a sweet little girl had lost her entire family over the course of nine days, I was reminded that our prayers are not wasted. A faithful saint confided that she believes God has a plan for this little girl - that He is going to do a miracle as He writes the story of the rest of her life. And as I bowed my head in prayer for this precious child - asking God to save her, and redeem this situation, and use it for His glory and the expansion of His kingdom - I received a text from a friend who is also praying, which reminded me that God can use this story to inspire many people in years to come.
Suddenly I was transported from a place of feeling distressed and forlorn to a position of worship before a God who turns wailing into dancing. Who replaces sackcloth with garments of joy.
Ah, this story has not ended with a lonely little girl. She has extended family who all know the Lord, and I believe He will use them as He continues to write her story. As I prayed for her, I envisioned a grown woman with an amazing testimony. In my mind's eye I could see her on a platform sharing the tragedy she endured at the age of 11, and telling of the redemption she experienced at the hand of God. My heart delighted at the thought of how many, many people God will reach through her testimony of suffering and enduring faith.
Because that's what God does.
It's how He works.
The God who gives beauty for ashes, who turns imprisonment into evangelism opportunities, who delivers His faithful servants from giants and lions and fires, who conquers the sin and death of all mankind through the life and death of One - that God will not allow our suffering to be wasted.
Maybe today you find yourself in shock because of hardships which have come upon you. Perhaps calamity has struck without warning or mercy, and you're on the edge of despair. Or maybe you are a witness to another person's tragedy, and feelings of hopelessness are surrounding you - even though the struggle belongs to someone else.
If we were alone in the adversity, if there were no purpose in our pain, if redemption was not an option, despondency would have to be our response.
But GOD.
Hold onto HIM!!!


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