4626 Highway 36 East Somerville, AL 35670
Life Goes On - But Not Unchanged
Life goes on. From the beginning of the creation, day has followed night, and according to God's promise, it will until Jesus comes. "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22; cf. 2 Peter 3:10).
The day after my father-in-law was buried, my wife remarked that it didn't seem fair that the sun came up and people went on about their daily lives. Didn't they know what had happened! But life goes on. In fact every day our lives go on, often uninterrupted, even though the lives of countless others are turned upside down by tragic events.
Life goes on no matter the circumstances - death of a loved one, a tragic automobile accident, diagnosis of a dread disease, divorce, loss of a job - the list goes on and on - and life goes on. When these events happen to us, the world seems to stop. But it doesn't, for life goes on.
Life does goes on, but not unchanged. For whenever these events take place in our lives, we are affected - sometimes for good and sometimes for bad, but we are affected in some way. Sadly, many are made bitter by tragic circumstances. It is a sad reality that some who go through tragedy will blame God and ask where he was or why he let that happen. Of course, God is where he always has been providing for us the means to carry on, but those who are embittered are blinded to that fact and cannot see the bounty of God's blessings even in the midst of trial.
But others are made better by trying circumstances. This is the only way a passage like James 1:2 makes any sense. How could anyone "count it all joy" to face trying circumstances? The next two verses give the answer. "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." Like an athlete who strengthens his muscles by lifting weights, so trials and difficulties can strengthen our spiritual muscles. God has created within us a resilience that, if we choose to use it, enables us to go on in the face of very trying and difficult circumstances. And, because of these trying and difficult circumstances we have an opportunity to become stronger and better.
At some point, all of us will face tragic events - and yet life goes on. But an even greater tragedy will occur if we allow life to go on without being changed for the better by the difficulties we face.
Thomas W. Larkin