You cannot prepare for tragedy. It seeks you out and strikes without warning. Sudden, inexplicable, it leaves you desperately trying to hang on. You gasp for breath. Life is never going to be the same.

Perhaps you know exactly what I am talking about. Is there anything that will get you through?

Consider Richard Russel, known to his family and friends as “Beebo.” One day he left for work as a baggage handler at Seatac International Airport. Then, for reasons that may never be known, Beebo climbed aboard an empty commercial airliner, started the engines, and went flying. Shadowed by two F-15 fighters, he zoomed over Puget Sound for nearly an hour, doing aerobatic maneuvers. Finally, with fuel almost gone, the airplane nose-dived into the ground, killing him.

Beebo’s stunned family released this statement. "We are devastated by these events.” Tragedy! And then they said, “Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now. Without Him, we would be hopeless."

That’s the Christian hope. “In him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). He will hold you together, too. I cannot tell you that all will be OK. What happens in the next hours and days is in God’s hands. But if you place your hope in Christ, things will hold together.

With Him there is hope to meet any tragedy. Stand fast! He will comfort you and send you others to comfort you as well.

Lord, help! Hold me together. I look to you. Amen.

Go Deeper — In times of tragedy, look for God’s people to show up. We are not meant to face these things alone. If you need someone to talk with during your tragedy, or want to know how to better help someone who is going through one, our free confidential online mentors are willing to contact you. Just fill in the form below.

Tags: Active Faith I Corinthians 15
Photo Credit: Patrick Fore