Last week my country was rocked by the news that four people were killed on an amusement park ride on the Gold Coast.
A week earlier we heard about a tragic situation whereby a Sydney man gassed his home, poisoning himself, his wife, his two children, and the family dog.
Further afield, a pastor I have a lot of respect for, originally from Australia but now living in Texas, lost his son in a tragic drowning accident.
The impact of such events is far-reaching. There seems no end to the pain that spirals out when these things happen.
For those who go through the worst possible things – such as losing a child – there are no immediate answers.
In The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp writes:
“Great grief isn’t made to fit inside your body. It’s why your heart breaks. If you haven’t felt this yet, it may be, God forbid, that someday you will.
“There’s absolutely no tidy pattern as to who gets pain and who gets peace… the brokenness of this world is so all-encompassing that it encompasses all of us.”
Suffering is guaranteed, as much as we might try and push it down or pretend it will never happen to us.
We were never in control of such things.
At the same time, we don’t have to live without hope.
1 Peter 1:3-6 talks about the “living hope” that comes to us through the person of Jesus.
“God has great mercy,” the passage says.
“And because of his mercy he gave us a new life.
“This new life brings us a living hope through Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death.
“Now we wait to receive the blessings God has for his children.
“These blessings are kept for you in heaven.
“They cannot be ruined or be destroyed or lose their beauty.”
God doesn’t just leave us to exist in the brokenness; the pain; the grief.
He offers a way out.
He sent his son Jesus to conquer death by his resurrection.
He was the only person ever to rise from the dead, and prove he was actually God – a God who is able to defeat death and bring new life to us.
A new life, a new hope, and a new future are available because we trust in God.
And while we continue to live with the impact of a broken world, we are not alone.
We have our Father God.
And one day, he will make everything right and whole and perfect for his kids.
This is his plan, and this is our hope.