When I heard about the tragedy of the first year student who was struck and killed by lightning at the University of Waterloo I was shocked. She was a first year, just beginning her time in university with so much to look forward to. It brought to mind my own pain and loss and caused me to consider why we have such a deep longing for safety and security.
We crave safety and security. Like, “it’s a given to live well into my 80’s” and expect to see our family for years to come. It is normative. My family is no different. I grew up on a farm with many physical dangers to be aware of so it was critical that everyone knew how to be safe and to make smart decisions.
Then one wintery day during while I was away for my first year of university I got a phone call from my mom. My uncle had just died of a heart attack. Everyone was in shock. It was totally unexpected. His health had been good and he was outside doing the work that he loved when he suddenly collapsed and died that wintery morning.
Hearing what happened in Waterloo transported me back to these memories and emotions. It reminded me that despite so many efforts to provide safety and security unexpected tragedies still happen and will unfortunately continue.
How do you get through this type of loss? How do you recover when your world is completely shaken? Over time, it was the relationship my family and I had with Jesus that brought us healing. We knew that Jesus understood our grief and pain, since He too had experienced such grief and pain when he died at the hands of the religious leaders in Jerusalem.
I am continuing to pray for the family and friends of the young University of Waterloo student. Praying that they will experience the love and grace of Jesus amidst their grief. I am praying that people would come around them to support them through this tragedy. We can’t have full safety and security here on earth, but we can come to know a God that understands and can relate to our sorrow and bring us hope as described in John 3:12-17, “…For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…”
I do crave safety and security and from things like what Jesus says in Luke 12:22-34, he has given me the perspective I have needed to journey through tough tragedies, “…do not worry about your life…”