On the way to a meeting this morning, I saw a billboard which read, "Disasters Happen. We take care of them all." I've seen it before, but today it looked different to me. Then, as I sat in Starbuck's and began to work, the song playing over the air sang, "Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing is going to be alright." I guess I'm a little sensitive to the issue. I called my mom earlier today to let her know that our staff is praying for her today. Today marks twelve years since my dad "unexpectedly" died of a massive heart attack. As my mom said to me, "Twelve years ago, I woke up not having any idea what would happen that day."
I know we are not alone in suffering loss. Some of you reading this are probably welling up with tears thinking of a loss that you have experienced. For those of you that haven't, unfortunately, it is coming. Life is so fragile and all of us, short of our Lord's return, will end up in the grave. We never know how. We never know when. But we do not need to be afraid. Why? God is God.
The reason "unexpectedly" was in quotes above is because it wasn't unexpected to everyone. God knew. He was already preparing to comfort us and did so in ways that I will never forget. He was also already prepared to use it to further His purposes. I told the staff yesterday that if my dad had not died, "The Pursuit" would have started about ten years ago somewhere in Ohio with a typical church name and would have probably had a typical church planting result. God brought me out to CA as a result of my dad's death and that set everything in motion to get us up here to start The Pursuit. So many lives have been changed.
If I could go back, would I want my dad back? Honestly, that's an irrelevant question. This is God's story, not mine. He is writing History before our very eyes. Sometimes there is happiness; sometimes there is pain. But He is working in all of it. It is when we suffer loss that He can be God to us in a way that we cannot experience any other way. Run toward God and run toward others. Someday, everything is going to be alright. Disasters happen and God does take care of them all.