Regular blog readers here know about Samuel (see May 2013 Archives for the full story). Samuel is a young pastor in Jinja who lost both his parents this past summer. His mom and dad were brutally attacked during a break-in of their home back in May. His father died that night and his mother lived for about two months and then she died.
I meet with Samuel weekly. He does most of the talking when we meet. Though hurt, his faith and confidence have been strong through these last few months. I asked if he would be willing to write out his thoughts about how to keep faith in time of tragedy. I will type his notes as he wrote them to me. Here’s Samuel:
Why I lost my Dad in a murder by our own relatives inside the house at night on Saturday, May 11th 2013. It was a horrible thing I have ever heard, and it was unbelievable at that time. As I started to panic a lot but as soon as possible I realize my weakness by that time, then I rush with no words, kneeling down, and I ask God, please this is not normal God you know, but I need your strength and comfort.
But still there’s a lot of panic, and I started to speak of God’s attributes – e.g. God’s all powerful, all knowing, all wisdom, is Almighty God is loving, etc. and I started to gain my strength and sense by letting the Scripture speak to me more than my feeling – e.g. Psalm 139:1-6; 91:1; etc. which is the hardest thing to do at that moment. But I have to accept the Scripture to tell me what to do, not my feeling.
And there I found my self encouraged and continue to stand on the ground still loving God and thanking God for all had happened.
So I had to overcome the fear, worry and the feeling of tragedy by seeing God through it, that nothing happens by mistake without God’s knowing. Romans 8:27-30.
A month after my mother was also badly hurt in the night of the murder of my Dad, she also died and I had see my self standing on open ground of no one along side me. Both have gone, who I had loved them so much because the truth is ever since I was born now 28 years of age my dad has never beaten me once [Note from Mark: parents beating, caning and even burning or cutting children as punishment is too common in Uganda]. And they were part of my life every day I live.
Really I have loved them to see the fruit of their labor on me but God in his plan did not allow what seem right in his sight to be done, for he is God, and in my mother’s death accepted God’s will to be done, but letting him be first in everything good or bad (Colossians 1:18). Never won’t I allowed to be threaten by any storm (Psalm 23). God is God. I will trust him.
What encourages me is that my parents died Christians (born again) and they will continue living in Christ and one day God’s will shall I see them again. Life is not [about] flesh that has died and rotten by our soul and spirit that no man has power over them except the author, our Lord God (Genesis 2:7).
So I overcome or deal with the tragedy of losing my two parents by:
– accepting God in all situations;
– letting God control every step;
– allowing God’s word to speak to me by telling me what to do in every situation, not feelings;
– running before the throne of God of mercy and love for comfort and encouragement, wisdom and victory over every situation.
The devil will use your weakness to put you down but God will use your weakness to lift you up in Grace and Mercy. Be wise in time of any tragedy by having God’s mind (scriptures) for the devil is so close to you at that moment of tragedy (temptation, test), but remember the good LORD will never leave the situation beyond your strength (1 John 1:10).
Nothing shall obstruct me from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39).
Glory be God our Father in Jesus.
Samuel’s faith strengthens my faith in the Lord, and I trust his faith strengthened your faith as well. God’s word supports us. Thanks for reading.