2009-03-30 - Making Sense of Tragedy
Then he cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?" Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!" (1 Kings 17:20-21)
Elijah prayed on behalf of the grieving widow's son. I, too, interceded for someone, my grandfather, suffering with cancer. I asked, and at times begged, God to heal my grandpa. Although he lived longer than the medical experts' diagnosis, my grandpa lost his battle with cancer at the age of 83. I was in the hospital the last time I spoke to my grandfather. I was recovering from an appendicitis, and he was checking on me. For so many months prior, the roles were reversed. Now our life together is kept alive through memories and photographs.
Elijah asked God why there was tragedy on this family. Many of us have asked God similar questions, when we see devastating and unfair things happen to good people. I too asked why God had my grandfather hanging on, living in such pain and discomfort.
Although Elijah was a man of God, his curious question showed another side to this prophet, his humanness. The Lord heard Elijah's prayer, and life came back to the boy. He was revived. Elijah brought the son to his mother who was convinced that Elijah was a man of God. Her boy's healing confirmed it and washed away any doubts she had.