trusting God's Word after a tragedy

Trusting God’s Word After a Tragedy

Getting a call during the day from my husband is almost never a good thing. He works a very hard and demanding job outside and doesn’t have the luxury to just chat. Although his work is difficult, he is like a little boy when working — he loves pushing dirt, digging holes, and pushing down trees. He has been blessed to get to do this every day for the last fifteen or so years.

The Phone Call

The call came in the middle of the day. When I answered the phone, my husband’s voice was shaking. I could hear the tears being held back and the fear in his voice as he said, “There has been an accident.” He said, “Felecia, it’s bad, real bad.”

I couldn’t even begin to imagine how bad this phone call was going to get. He continued to tell me what had taken place. A young man had been hit by a fallen tree limb. I asked, “Is he going to be okay?” Mark answered, “I don’t think so…” Then there was only silence. I didn’t know what to say, but I knew I needed to be there. I quickly left the salon and headed for the job site. As I drove, I cried out to my Father. I prayed for Mark, I prayed for the young man, his family, my family, and his coworkers. There were so many thoughts running through my mind — there are far too many words to even share them all with you, but fear gripped me the most.

As I drove up on the job site, yellow tape, police, and investigators covered the small yard. It was quite a scary scene. It looked like something from a television crime show. I pulled up on the side of the road and waited — waited and searched for my husband’s face in the crowd. I needed to see him, to touch him, to pray with him.

The investigator came to the car asking who I was. I told him my husband owned the business and he had called me. He asked me if I was O.K., I am sure I had makeup running down my face from all the crying en route. “No, I am not,” was my reply.

He said, “Ma’am, everything is going to be O.K. Are you worried about the charges?”

“No, no,” I responded with tears pouring down my face, “I don’t know if the young man who died knew the Lord — I don’t know where he is.”

Confusion covered his face, and I knew he didn’t understand as he patted my arm and said, “Ma’am, it was an accident,” and walked away.

Days of Questioning

The days following the accident were hard. Even today as I write this account, it is heart-wrenching. But immediately following the accident, the words of our Lord, words I had hidden in my heart, came flooding in. They were like a healing balm to my soul. As promises of the Lord came to mind, I could breathe. The first of many was Psalm 145:17, “The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.” I have this verse in a painting hanging in our hall bathroom and I see it frequently. I saw it even more frequently the weeks following the accident; I was sick most of the time and visited this room often. I would read it over and over. I prayed, “Lord, how is this loving to all You have made?”

Yes, I questioned God. I didn’t see how anything good could come from something so terrible.

I searched and searched God’s Word to find answers, but there were no answers that seemed to answer the WHY question. Then I realized I was asking the wrong question. As I allowed God to change my questions from WHY to WHAT, I began to ask the Lord, “What do you want us to learn from this? Your Word tells us you will work all things for the good of those who love you (Romans 8:28). Will you show me the good? Will you guide us though this tragedy?”

Ladies, we live in a fallen, broken world where bad things happen, and they happen to good people. This fact is not going to change. In John 16:33 it says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I see tragic things on the news every day, and I am grateful for the reminders in God’s Word of His promises.

God is preparing us for something greater.

John 14:1-4 states, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

A Compelling Hope

I still do not know if this young man is in heaven or not. But if he had placed his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, he is in the presence of the Lord. Since the accident I want to know where everyone is going; it has compelled me more and more to ask others what they put their hope in and to share my hope after this life is over with others.

I had to ask myself if I never knew the answers to my WHY questions, would I know that God is good no matter what (Psalm 100:5)? Do I trust Him with my life and the life of that young man (Psalm 9:10)? With his seven children that would never have their daddy tuck them in bed again (Psalm 68:5)?  My answer is “Yes.” He is God and He knows the plans He has for me and my husband and for this other young man and his family (Jeremiah 29:11).  I hope I will one day see this young man in heaven where the Lord has prepared for us a mansion.

I never got the answers for WHY this young man had to lose his life; however, I have seen God working in this terrible accident. I have seen God develop an even closer relationship between my husband and one of his workers that was there that dreadful day. I have experienced being in God’s Word and the comfort it has brought me.

I would like to ask you to please pray for this precious family to seek God with all their hearts. Pray that He would pour out His peace that passes all understanding on each of them and draw them into a personal relationship with Him. I hope that in sharing this tragic event in our lives with you, it would compel you to ask the people in your life what they put their eternal hope in and share the hope you have in the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:19-20). You never know when you may receive that unexpected phone call and have a WHY question of your own.

The Glory of God changes everything


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