When is a tragedy NOT really a tragedy?


In my life, there have been a few times when I felt alone and abandoned by God.

Like when my son committed suicide.

Or when my marriage fell apart.

I think we can all say that we have had our share of these moments.

But, how often have you looked BACK on these times with a new awareness, and realized that your tragedies were actually blessings in gods protectiondisguise.

I am going to share a short story that will illustrate what I mean by this.

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.

As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied:

“Things aren’t always what they seem.”

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel: “How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him”, she accused. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”

“Things aren’t always what they seem.”

“When we stayed in the basement of the mansion,” continued the older angel, “I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it.”

“Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead….”

“Things aren’t always what they seem.”

– Author Unknown and greatly appreciated!

 

So as that story so beautifully illustrated,

sometimes when bad things happen, they happen for a reason. 

And sometimes that reason is not always easy to see.

In my life, if my husband had decided to stay, our family would be a completely different entity than it is today.

The ending of my marriage was the beginning of a life that me and my children love and thrive in.

As a teenager in High school, I had a situation with a seminary teacher that caused me to question everything I had ever been told about religion.

This incident was extremely painful and literally caused me to DE-Convert from Christianity for years.

It started me on a quest for truth that would last nearly 20 yrs..                 (and which, by the way ended up with me going right back to the place I started, Christianity),but this time, I had found answers for myself.

My seminary teacher unwittingly forced me into a personal relationship with God…(albeit, a very angry relationship, but a relationship none the less.)

And after all, isn’t that what God craves from us…Relationship.

Once I started talking (mostly yelling) to God, for myself, by myself…

He was finally able to start working on my heart.

I studied every major world religion. And by doing so, discovered something very powerful that would change my life…

I discovered that there is a very big gap between Religious Legalism and the truth of who God wants me to be.

Religion wants me to be practically perfect, and God just wants ME to be ME.

In the bible we read stories of great men and women. These heroes of the Bible were murders, adulterers, and in the case of Abraham, he even pimped out his wife Sarah at one point in his life.

I learned during my studies that God uses broken people. He lifts them up with his love and creates in them clean hearts, and then uses those clean hearts  to teach by their example who and what He is.

So often in life, we try to present the image to the world of how righteous and perfect we are.

When the truth is… we are all sinners, every one of us.

What if, instead of always trying to cover up those parts of our life story that aren’t so perfect, we were honest and authentic about our past?

If God sees value in telling us about the sins and short comings of his Bible heroes, maybe he is hoping that we will come clean as well.

Because the lesson in all of these stories in the bible are the same really…Bad men and women can find redemption in the arms of the Lord.

A person as despicable as Saul of Tarsus, can grow and develop into the Great man known as the Apostle Paul, who was largely responsible for the spread of Christianity throughout the world.

We never know why bad things are happening to us. I am not sure that we are supposed to understand all the whys, I just know that we need to believe in the plan he has for us, and remember that He will work all things for our good if we follow Him.

So as we end this work week, look back and ponder all the tragedies you have experienced this week and ask yourself, were they really tragedies, or was I being protected and guided by a higher power?

 

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