Finding Light in the Darkness
On Halloween, my professor and his wife (Chad and Jen) experienced something that most parents can’t even fathom. They lost their daughter, Evelyn. She passed away unexpectedly at her piano recital. She finished her song, stood up, took a bow, and then collapsed. She never regained consciousness. Evelyn was only 11 years old.
This family has been on my mind for the past few weeks. At first, I couldn’t believe that it happened. Then, all I could think about was how are they ever going to get through this. For as long as I have known them, they have always been a family that has been faithful to Christ. Now, it seems as if their faith was being tested. I wondered what they’re response was going to be.
For the first week, after her death, they sank in to what they consider to be their darkest hour. They couldn’t understand why their little girl was taken from them. They did not want to lose their faith, but they were struggling to hold on to it. Then, four days after Evelyn’s death, Chad woke early and prayed. He asked God to help him to not lose his faith. He felt hopeless.
Then, his prayer was answered. God gave him the answer he was looking for in a fortune that Evelyn had kept. The fortune said, Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. This verse from Hebrews 11:1, sends a very powerful message, especially to someone who feels lost and empty. God sent him the answer that helped him to be able to put things into perspective. Even in his moments of darkness and emptiness, God is showing him and his family the light and hope they so desperately need.
In a small way, I feel Chad and his family were experiencing their own Job moment. If you have not read the book of Job, I highly recommend it. Job was a very pious and upright man. His faith was continuously being tested. Being a man who was blessed with children, property, and fortune he seemed to have it all. Then, he suffered a sudden and complete reversal and was led into misfortune. Everything was taken away from him. He begins to feel sorrow and hopelessness, but he does not complain against God. Some of his friends try to convince him that he is being punished and he needs to repent for whatever he has done. Job protests his innocence, but that does not take away his despair. He even reaches the point where he longs for death to end his suffering.
Job makes a plea to God that he may be allowed to see God and to also hear from Him the cause of his suffering. God does provide Job with answer, but it is not in the way that Job was looking for. God reaffirmed his omniscience and almighty power. This response was enough for Job and he began to place his trust in God again.
Life is full of unexpected moments, especially tragic moments. In the blink of an eye your life can be changed forever. Losing a child, spouse, or a cherished family member is one of those times where you may find yourself slipping into the darkness and despair. It is in this moment that you need to completely give yourself to God and He will bring you comfort and restore your hope. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, NAB). Even in our darkest hour, if we turn to God we can find peace.