Roy Sullivan worked as a park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Between 1942 and 1977, he was struck by lightning a total of seven times, surviving each strike with no major injuries. Was he “lucky”? He apparently didn’t think so, because in 1983, at the age of 71, the “human lightning rod” committed suicide.
Do you ever feel like you are being struck by more than your fair share of problems? Like you are hit by one bad circumstance after another? Like there will be no end or escape from the darkness? How do you cope when you are drowning in despair and hopelessness?
We should not look at suffering and trials as something with which God is trying to punish us. Sullivan did not view his situation as punishment from God. He said that if God had wanted him dead, He could have easily done it with only one strike! Job’s friends, as well as people in Jesus’ day, believed suffering was divine punishment. But sometimes bad things happen to Christian people.
Wrong decisions, unfortunate events, and unforeseen consequences may befall us at times in life. But we can endure the sorrow by remembering that “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
We must remain obedient through the heartaches of life. Our reward will be eternal bliss in the presence of the One who will wipe away every tear!