This has been a hard week to turn on the news. The disaster in Japan has been heartbreaking and the video is painful to watch. Tragedy brings so many questions and most of them start with the same word.

Why?

Most of us face tragedy at some point in our journey. The question for all of us is how will we respond and who will we turn to in the storm? Songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman faced unspeakable agony when his daughter was accidentally backed over by a car driven by a sibling. How can you fathom the pain of loss of one child magnified by the pain felt for the child who accidently caused it? Is there a worse nightmare for a parent? Out of the depth of his pain Chapman wrote an amazing CD of songs that honestly address the myriad of emotions that he experienced in tragedy. Today’s song is titled “Beauty Will Rise”.

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed till my voice was gone
And watched through the tears
As everything came crashing down

Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
And sift through the ashes that are left behind

But Chapman still could find a flickering light even in the overwhelming darkness.

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams
We have this hope

We have this hope. I say that will all humility and grace and love as a follower of Christ. I have faced tragedy in my life. During those difficult seasons I trust in the truth that Steven Curtis Chapman writes about.

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
We will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming in the morning
In the morning beauty will rise

I hold onto that hope that beauty will rise from the ashes of suffering. I have seen it in my life and the lives of many brothers and sisters in Christ. David wrote with great honesty in the Psalms. He understood that faith did not isolate you from the suffering of life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?
Their taunts break my bones.
They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”  (Psalm 42, NLT)

That is so hard. But David realized what Steven Curtis Chapman did hundreds of years later. The important decision is where you place your trust. Both placed their trust in God.

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!  (Psalm 42, NLT)

Chapman holds firm to his hope in Christ.

I can almost feel the hand of God
Reaching for my face
To wipe the tears away
Say its time to make everything new

Make it all new

This is our hope
This is a promise

It will take our breath away
To see the beauty that's been made
Out of the ashes, out of the ashes

That is my prayer for those facing heartbreak and sadness. To find a relationship with God that allows them to hope. And that their trust will be rewarded with seeing how beauty can rise out of the ashes. It can.