Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45, NKJV

A friend of mine recently experienced one of the most heartbreaking tragedies I can imagine: her beloved 36-year old son chose to end his own life. No one, including his mother, saw it coming. But suddenly, there it was, a reality that ripped my friend’s heart out and tested her faith as never before.

I called her a few days ago to check on her. The fact that she was still putting one foot in front of the other and functioning on a daily basis, despite the debilitating pain, is a testimony to the faithfulness of God, which we discussed at length. Because her son and my mine (my youngest) were best friends growing up, we also discussed the many times over the years we had prayed together for them.

That was the hardest part, she said, for at the time he died it seemed he wasn’t living for the Lord. My friend’s first thought, upon learning the news, was, “God, how could you let this happen? You promised me that my son’s life would serve to bring many to Christ. How can that promise be fulfilled now?”

Soon after the tragedy, my friend began receiving calls and notes from people, telling her how much her son had blessed their lives. She even discovered he had been attending church in another town, that he had become good friends with the pastor and visited with him and his family often, and that the young people in the church loved and admired him.

Though that knowledge hasn’t taken away the pain of her monumental loss or the questions that accompany it, it has helped to begin the healing of her broken heart and to restore her shattered faith.

“I don’t understand the whys of any of this,” she said, “and I will never stop missing my son while I’m still on this earth. But I know now that God’s promises for my son were fulfilled, even though I didn’t know it at the time.”

Like the young Jewish virgin Mary, who didn’t understand how God’s promise to her could possibly be fulfilled and who experienced great pain when her son died, we can still choose — as my friend must do daily — to believe that God’s promises to us are true and that there will be a “fulfillment” of those things He has told us in His Word, despite the difficulties and pain we may walk through in the process.

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