Thursday, May 16, 2013

When Tragedy Strikes

Yesterday, I officiated the funeral of Kristi Perrotto. She was 46 years old and died of cancer. As I stood before her husband and three children ages 14, 12 and 10, I couldn't help but think of how difficult life will become for them without a wife and growing up without a mom.

For many, her death seems like a tragedy. Of course, for Kristi, it's a victory. She is with Jesus. But when death, tragedy and loss occurs, what should we do? Let me share five things that we should focus on in any tragedy.

First, release your grief. Why? Because death, tragedy and loss can create strong emotions. Deal with those emotions. Don't push them down, deny them, repress them or rehearse them. Release your true feelings about the tragedy to God. (Read Matthew 5:4)

Second, receive from others. To make it through a crisis you need others' support, encouragement and presence. (Read Galatians 6:2)

Third, refuse to be bitter. Happiness is always a choice. To prevent the tragedy from making you bitter remember - you must accept what you cannot change. You focus on what remains, not what's lost.

Fourth, remember what is important. Your relationship with God, your relationship with your family, your relationship with others - these things can never be taken from you. Even in death you have the memories of the person. Possessions, careers, health - all can be lost but not our relationship with God. (Read Romans 8:38-39)

Last of all, rely on Christ. He is our rock, shelter, shepherd, hiding place, stabilizer and so much more. Even in our darkest hours, rely on Him. (Read Psalms 23:4)


P.S. This Sunday we will be talking about ways to keep love alive! We are in Acts 19 this week - you won't want to miss it! See you then!

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