When bad things happen, do you blame God?
It's a natural response. We've all complained; “Why me, God?” And if our personal tragedy is serious enough, we become overwhelmed and even immobilized by grief and bitterness.
This is why I find the Chapman family so amazing.
In May of 2008, Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, heard about a horrific earthquake in China that claimed more than 70,000 lives. The Chapmans routinely visit that country in support of an orphan ministry they started, called ShowHOPE, and they've adopted three Chinese girls of their own.
Later that month, another earthquake struck. The Chapmans' five-year-old adopted daughter, Maria, was killed in a car accident accidentally caused by her teenage brother.
They were devastated. Steven confessed: “At first you don't even know if you can breathe . . . if you're going to survive the grief.” Mary Beth acknowledged their ongoing pain but identified a source of hope: “I wake up in the morning and make a choice. You can wallow in the deep end or you say, ‘God, show me what you want me to be about today and how can I honor you, and in turn honor Maria.’”
One year later, the Lord answered that prayer. The Chapmans returned to China to participate in ShowHOPE's opening of a special-needs orphan care facility called “Maria's Big House of Hope.”
When tragedy inevitably comes into our lives, the only source of comfort and healing is God Himself.
“For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men” (Lam. 3: 31-33).