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No one is exempt from the touch of tragedy

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: The pandemic, riots and total unrest make me desperate for peace. I have missed the fellowship of other believers and am desperate to know why such suffering escalates. My neighbor keeps saying God is in control. How can that be? — T.L.

Dear T.L.: Most people do not deliberately look for trouble in life. It comes. Suffering is a universal fact; no one can escape its claws. The rain falls upon the just and the unjust. We all face personal struggles.
Some people have the mistaken idea that becoming a Christian will be a shelter from the personal storms in life. The story of many of our hymns dispel this myth, for they have been composed in the crucible of life.
Many illustrations could be given. Charlotte Elliott wrote “Just as I Am” when she was a helpless invalid. Fanny Crosby was blind, yet out of her suffering came such powerful songs as “Blessed Assurance” and William Cowper in an hour of great mental distress penned the words to “God Moves in Mysterious Ways.”
We can read the poetry of the book of Psalms that tells of the wide range of moods and experiences of its authors. Though they lived through suffering and sorrow, they found joy and comfort in God’s words and promises.
No one is exempt from the touch of tragedy; neither the Christian nor the non-Christian; neither the rich nor the poor; neither the leaders nor the commoner. Crossing all racial, social, political, and economic barriers, suffering reaches out to all. It is real and concrete. It leaves scars. When the winds of adversity pass, blessed are those who know and understand that endurance comes from the Lord almighty. Surrender is a blessing when it is surrender to Jesus Christ, for He cares for us beyond human imagination. Rest in His blessed assurance.
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)