All of us go through some or the other trouble in our lives and disaster, whether great or small strikes us and oft en catch us unawares. How do we manage these disasters in our lives? Do we deal with them with faith or do we give up. I would like to share my personal disaster and how the good Lord helped me handle it.
It was a beautiful day, a day that I lost my beautiful mother forever. She bid farewell to me in a most unassuming manner and I was unable to hear her final words. After the burial I came back to my bed for the rest. I do not know from where I drew the strength, but I was getting refreshed by looking at my grandmother who was still there to receive all the tragedies of the earth into her lap. She had lost her mother at the age of one, lost her husband, two sons and now my mother, her daughter in law. In the eventide, she called all of us for the daily prayer as if nothing happened. I recited the rosary with hitherto unknown devotion. Later in the night as I was preparing for my personal prayers, my grandmother came to my bed, asked me about my studies and my life. I told her everything. Finally, she said, “Dear child, nothing is unexpected in the life of a Christian so be happy and cheerful always. Good night”. My grandmother became the epitome of faith at that moment. It was there I learned the sum and substance of the entire Christian theology. She had lost almost everyone close to her but she had no complaints and received everything as part of Lord’s plan. It was there I learnt the true meaning of faith, that faith is nothing but trusting in the plan of God, without an iota of doubt.
How do we react when tragedy strikes us? When someone we love is taken away from us can we like my grandmother say nothing is unexpected in the life of a Christian so be happy and cheerful always.
The book of Job teaches us everything that we need to know about disaster management. We see how God gives Satan the permission to test Job and we see Job losing everything that is dear to his life. His crops, his cattle, slaves, his children and above all his own health. We see his friends and wife urging him to curse God and even go on to blame it all on Job’s sins. But Job never loses his faith in God and he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
What do we do when disaster strikes us? When we lose our job, when someone close to us dies, or the friend you thought will be there for life walks away, when all hope is lost can we like my grandmother say, “nothing is unexpected in the life of a Christian so be happy and cheerful always”. Or can we like Job say The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”.
Fr Jinson Mukalel CMF