When Tragedy Strikes…

We recently had a tragedy on our farm. It involved one of our goats and ice and resulted in a freak accident that took his life. You might be thinking, “It’s just a goat…?”  As you may have discerned, we have an interesting perspective on animals around here. They are all pets and they become part of the family in a way. I know… not very “farmer-like” is it? The news about the accident actually came in a phone call as Erika and I had been traveling at the time. Between the upset of losing a goat and wanting to be home to help, the sadness over the situation was magnified.

As difficult as this situation was, it opened an unexpected door of healing. It reminded me of the story of Joseph and his reconciliation with his brothers. It took a moment of great emotion to open a door that, with God’s help, Joseph walked through to embrace his brothers with forgiveness and understanding that what he went through was necessary to become the man that God intended for him to be.

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. ~Genesis 45:1-2

I’m sure both Joseph and his brothers had some buried hurts that were left to fester as a result of Joseph being sold as a slave. The guilt over their father’s grief alone would probably cause the siblings to harbor bottled up emotions. What a relief it must have been for them to face Joseph and experience his forgiveness. The release of all the pent-up emotion and guilt must have been very freeing. This story reminded me that God uses all things for His glory, not just the easy situations.

The shock of losing Mordecai caused an overwhelming amount of strong emotions. The thought that we unknowingly put him in a situation that resulted in this terrible accident was horrifying.  The overflow of grief and anger actually facilitated a discussion that needed to happen many months ago. However, like many people tend to do, the hurts that happened in the past were buried deep where they didn’t have to be dealt with until this catalyst brought them exploding to the surface. It wasn’t comfortable or pleasant but it was necessary. The eruption of emotion led to heated discussion and eventually to a healing talk.

It can be difficult to have seven people in one home, all with very different personalities. One thing we all have in common, though, is the desire to grow closer to God and oftentimes this growth comes through allowing Him to guide us through difficult situations. As a mother, my desire is to have shalom (peace) in my home all the time but of course, that isn’t very realistic. When people are involved, there will be some sort of conflict. We always have the choice to allow God to influence us through difficult circumstances or we can stubbornly refuse to walk through the door He provides. I’m happy to say that we have all learned from this and that knowledge brought a little sunshine out of a really dark day.

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