November 19 Trusting Through Tragedies

Scripture reading: Psalm 139:7–12

Key verse: Psalm 139:17

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

Anne Bradstreet, the greatest female poet of colonial America, was a busy wife and mother as one of the early settlers. Yet in the middle of unrelenting duty and hardships, she poured out the passions of her heart in poetry that is admired today for its rich simplicity.

On the night of July 10, 1666, she was awakened by terrible cries in the night—“Fire! Fire!” After she and her family made their way to safety, she stood outside and watched the fast-moving flames consume everything they owned. The next morning she picked over the smoking ruins, finding the remains of old keepsakes, chests, the family table. She was brokenhearted and wept as she thought of the joys that were gone.

In her poem “Upon the Burning of Our House,” notice the conclusion she reaches as she works through the pain of traumatic loss:

And did thy wealth on earth abide?

Didst fix thy hope on mold’ring dust?…

Thou hast an house on high erect,

Framed by that mighty Architect …

There’s wealth enough, I need no more;

Farewell, my pelf, farewell my store.

The world no longer let me love;

My hope and treasure lies above.

Anne understood that God was taking care of her and her family, regardless of how much they had or did not have. She also knew that He would provide for their future. Do you have the peace of trusting Him through your tragedies?

Father, help me trust You in bad times as well as good. Give me a faith that shines brightest in the darkest hours.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 338). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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