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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

A Day at a Time: More Than Survivors

By Scott Harrup
July 15, 2012

Our annual Surviving Tragedy issues feature people living on the memory side of life-threatening crises — natural disasters, violent crimes, catastrophic accidents and brutal animal attacks. But the narratives we feature go beyond the inspirational or motivational themes you might find elsewhere.

Best-sellers on survival portray the central characters’ inner strength, or the fortuitous circumstances that preserved life. There’s usually a feel-good message of, “I was able to pull through, and you can too.”

The stories in the following pages do not focus on personal ability to overcome crisis. There are no promises concerning your own potential to effectively cope with tragedy. When circumstances line up in a beneficial manner, good fortune doesn’t get the credit.

Why not? These stories portray God’s presence in the midst of tragedy. The message here is one of divine intervention in response to faith — faith that carried these people through their worst nightmares, and faith that can sustain you as well.

With God in the picture, the follower of Christ does not merely survive a tragedy. He or she grows through the pain process and emerges as a more resilient and effective servant of God. God’s presence means Someone faces each adversity alongside the survivor.

If you find these stories inspiring, you will find a wealth of “survivor stories” in another Book, one recently estimated to have been printed nearly 4 billion times in the last 50 years. Here are a couple of promises from its pages to you.

“Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11, NIV).

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).

Scott Harrup
Managing Editor

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