Note: Though we were scheduled to post a Steadfast Short Story this time, we have postponed it to instead bring you David’s reflective short story, “Deliverance from Tragedy.” Please see our news after the story.
Dear Friends, The day after the Las Vegas shooting, my spirit was heavy, as was everyone’s. Not only was I saddened at the lives lost, but I was burdened (and still am) over the supposed remedy to “fix ourselves.” It’s true that God has been mentioned on national television—but whose god? The God of the Bible? Someone’s higher power, or some other definition of god?
False ideas hold no real hope, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for peace in the future. We simply need to depend on the right Person for the peace that people crave, but don’t know where to find it—or have rejected it too long to give it any credence now. We, as Christians, must not hesitate to speak openly about the only God, our Savior Jesus Christ, who offers the only hope for fallen man and meaning for tragic incidents.
Here is a short story I wrote with this in mind. God gave us the Bible and its truth for a reason. A rejection of the Bible is a rejection of the God of the Bible. But within its pages is hope for the future that we can all hold tightly to right now, and always.—David Telbat
Deliverance from Tragedy
by D.I. Telbat
Gloria Hewitt starred at the television screen, unable to leave for the store quite yet. Another disaster was being reported on the news. Just when her life was starting to return to normal after the last massacre, another one rocked the world. There would be no moving on from this one, she thought, but a depressing reality numbed her—there would be other horrible tragedies to follow. Sadly, this was the world now.
Fumbling for the remote, she turned off the screen, but she couldn’t turn off the horror she’d seen, or the sounds she’d heard. Those who’d survived the massacre, to live with their memories—it was unimaginable. The thought of the anguish of loss brought tears to Gloria’s eyes. She didn’t bother to wipe the moisture away. No, none of this could be wiped away.
She picked up her Bible. What counsel did God have for such moments? The whole world was searching to understand the tragedy and the meaning of life that seemed so fleeting. Even the media was asking why, though the whole country continued to belittle and mock God.
A church friend had emailed her a good thought: if people wanted to understand and find meaning, then they needed to go back to the beginning, and believe what they read.
Gloria opened her Bible to Genesis. The God she’d been getting to know each day—He had created the heavens and the earth, and He was daily, minute by minute, involved in His creation. Yes, this gave Gloria fresh stability. Her Father was the Originator behind existence itself. But existing for God’s purpose wasn’t enough for most people. Two chapters later, mankind rebelled. Self-will became man’s new god, and murder soon followed as Cain killed Abel.
Paging through the Scriptures, Gloria was reminded of the only truths that could offer hope for anyone. God promised to accept and preserve those who trusted in Him. Tragedy was nothing new to neither the wicked nor the righteous—but tragedy had been introduced to the world when people moved away from God. The world, under man, was now fallen, and mankind couldn’t hope to fix the world or himself.
In the last pages of the Bible, Gloria found both devastation and deliverance. Judgement would one day consume the world, and justice would come from God upon those who refused Him and refused to live faithfully for Him. Deliverance would be realized finally only by those who’d already received by faith the gift God had offered by Jesus Christ. That was real hope!
America needed to rediscover the cross, Gloria concluded. There would be no deliverance from tragedy in the arms of anything or anyone but the God of the Bible. While mankind sought for joy, or unity, or love, or relief, they couldn’t truly find any of that without Jesus Christ.
To understand tragedy, people would all have to go back to the beginning. And to move beyond tragedy, they had to wait in faith for the end, when God would completely deliver the faithful from the presence of sin. But they could right now live free from sin’s bondage by simply trusting that Jesus defeated sin and death on the cross.
Gloria closed her Bible. In the world, mankind would suffer tribulations, but they could take courage, for Jesus had overcome the world. (John 16:33)
NEWS! COIL Extractions: Christian Short Story Collections, Book 1, is NOW FREE on Amazon! The eBook is a free starter book available now from all retailers. The collection is a good one to share with friends to introduce them to David Telbat’s writing and stories.
NEWS-2! STEADFAST Book Four is NOW OUT on Amazon! You can find a direct link to the book page here! Thanks so much to our early readers for their careful read-throughs and reviews. (Special thanks to Karen and Shana!) If any of our subscribers would like to receive free PDFs of David’s books before publication in exchange for your early feedback and/or review, let Dee know in an email.
Prayer Prompt: Let’s keep the Las Vegas victims and families in our prayers.
COMING UP: Join us next time for “The Worst Crime,” a challenging message found in David Telbat’s newest Steadfast Book Four of The Steadfast Series.