Isaiah 57:1-2 “...For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace...” (ESV)When tragedy strikes, the question spoken or unspoken is always “Why me (or them)? Why this? Why now?” or “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I found myself asking those questions again last night as I received the news of the sudden passing of my friend’s husband in a car accident. We strain to comprehend how a good, honorable, God-fearing man, young and with so much promise for the future would suddenly be snatched from this life to leave a young widow and son alone.
I don’t pretend to understand the “why” of any of these things any more than when I personally have endured unbearable pain such as it brings. What I have begun to understand--admittedly barely skimming the surface of understanding it--is that God’s perspective of these events is far different than mine.
Today while trying to reel in my emotions of sadness and gut-wrenching empathy, God’s Word once again comforted me with truth. Tragedies of life have drawn me to the one place and the only ONE who can truly make sense of the senseless. When my Dad died suddenly 12 years ago (to the day) I clung to the Psalm 116:15: “Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” When my daughter drowned, Lamentations 3:22-23 enabled me to get up each day and go on: “...His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” And when my late husband succumbed to cancer, my life verse became Psalm 18:30, “As for God, his way is perfect.”
Now another stone in the path of faith is placed in front of me, this time from Isaiah 57:1-2. It says “The righteous man perishes and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace...”
Truth: The righteous one who is taken from this fallen world is truly blessed, entering into peace. For him or her, it is joy unspeakable. It is triumph, not tragedy.
I know this truth doesn’t stop the pain for those of us left behind...and we seek peace that this world cannot give. Thank God it is made available to us! God alone can comfort the broken hearted, bring comfort to the widow, strength to the weary, and peace which passes all understanding.