Friday 7/3/2015 7:01 AM
Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. Had he lived, he would have been eighty-nine years old. He died from emphysema when I was thirteen. It was a difficult time for my family but, by God’s grace and the love of our community, we made it through that time, scarred, but not destroyed.
With the exception of my dad’s death and the death of my sister-in-law by suicide, my life has seen very little tragedy. I have experienced good health, a loving marriage, Jaci I have raised three children with whom we have healthy relationships, we get along with our sons-in-law and daughter-in-law, we have six healthy grandchildren with two more on the way. There are others around me whose lives seem to be filled with pain, sorrow and hopelessness. Sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t spread the joys and pains of life evenly to everyone.
There are some Christians who believe that the pains of life are God’s judgment on those afflicted and the joys are God’s reward for a life well lived. I’m not one of them. I don’t know why bad things happen in life but I do know that when they happen God doesn’t leave me to fend for myself. He enters into the suffering and the joy with me, sharing them both with me. He has given me a similar charge in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” I pray that I can meet that kind of challenge.