True to all of the advertising, Disney World was magical. We saw princesses, we went on rides, we watched parades and we even met Mickey Mouse. Disney knows fun!
Three days into our vacation we received news that a friend had died in a tragic accident. Not even the happiest place on earth, with all of it's parades, balloons and Disney magic could prevent heartache and loss. We put on happy faces and did our best to enjoy what we could of the rest of our trip for the girls. We did not share the news with them because we wanted them to have joyful memories of their time in Disney World and we knew they would spend the remainder of the trip worried about us if we told them. Disney characters and rides, no matter how spectacular, provided little comfort to grieving souls.
We did find comfort though. Broken hearted, yet in the happiest place on earth, we were reminded in the most unexpected and surprising way that our true and lasting happiness could be found in only one place. Twice while we were in Disney World, once before we heard the sad news and once again after, we witnessed a sky writer leaving three messages in the sky: U + God = :) , Trust Jesus and God loves you.
I am increasingly amazed whenever I think about the perfect timing of that skywriter. His message reminded me that God will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on Him: because I trust in Him.(Isaiah 26:3) He knows the pain I am suffering and I can rely on Him in every circumstance. He is trustworthy!
Though I may not understand it, He has a plan, a purpose, and if I allow it, He will work good out of even the worst situation. And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God. (Romans 8:28) Knowing that God can and will work for good in my life and the lives of those I love is the place of true happiness.
I am deeply saddened over the loss of my friend and I would be lying if I said I have never asked God why. Sometimes He allows things I would prefer He not allow, but my faith is not just for today. My faith is for eternity. And though I grieve, I also have joy because I walk with the Lord and He promises comfort!
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
Image by Ann Tristani