Last Wednesday, in the Philippines, on the western island of Palawan, a helicopter took off, headed to a remote island, more than an hour over the ocean, to pick up a patient in need of emergency medical care. The people here could never afford air transportation, but they don’t have to– it’s provided free of charge, with love, from PAMAS– Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services.
That helicopter never returned.
This week has been tough for me. I’ve watched, with many of you, the search efforts unfolding there… First, for survivors, which have not been found, and now, for the helicopter itself, deep on the ocean floor.
And as I watch the story unfold, my heart breaks for the family of those onboard. We don’t know whether they’re gone, obviously. It would take a miracle for them to still be alive at this point, but guys– our God is an expert in miracles. This part of the story is still being written, and will come forth in the next few days and weeks.
But in any case… This is a difficult time for the family. And I imagine… What if I was in the place of Andrew? Andrew, whose fiance was the nurse on that flight, and is now missing, possibly still alive, possibly dead? Would I have enough faith to trust that God was taking care of her, that He would work the situation for good… even if she died? What if I was on that flight myself, and ended up facing a crash, or in the worst scenario, death? Would I be brave enough?
These thoughts have been going through my mind a lot over the last week, and I feel pain for the close friends and family members of those onboard.
Narath, my roommate this year, likes this song that you may have heard (it went viral online in the last few months):
Lord, thank you for sunshine, thank you for rain; thank you for joy, thank you for Pain. It’s a beautiful day-ay-ay-ay-ay, it’s a beautiful day!
Thank you for sunshine, and rain, and joy, I can understand. But pain? What. Never. And thus I had kinda mentally filed the song in the “cute but stupid” category.
My mind went over a lot of thoughts from the past week, and the pain, and other painful experiences I’ve had in my life. And I realized… All these bits of pain come with lessons. In this case, it’s analyzing my own relationship with God. Do I have the faith and trust to believe He knows best and is seeking the best, when death or loss is staring me in the face?
And so this bit of pain, has been a blessing. More than that… it’s been a teacher.
So yes, God… Thank you for Pain!