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This Is Not How I Planned It

How would you describe this bird? Beautiful? Brave? Fearless? Intimidating? Powerful, Focused? Majestic? A mighty hunter?

Yes, all these apply and more until you hear its story. This eagle was rescued after being hit by a truck. It will never soar again, let alone fly. It will not dive for fish on the mighty Mississippi River in the depth of winter. It will not build a nest to raise offspring. It will no longer hunt for prey. No, it is now in the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN and will be on display for the public to see these birds as one would never be seen in the wild. The National Eagle Center is for rescued eagles recovering from a tragedy in their life. Life has changed them and for them forever. It is not the way it was supposed to be, but it is the way it is.

When we experience loss in our life, whether it is the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of a beloved pet, the loss of a physical or mental ability, it is a tragedy. Like the eagle in Wabasha, life would be changed forever. It is not how we planned it.

While the Bible is silent, it is apparent that Joseph had died sometime between Jesus being found in the temple and the crucifixion since Joseph was not present at the crucifixion and Jesus gave His mother to John to care for her at His death. In between those two events, Jesus and His mother suffered a great loss. It would have been nice if Joseph’s death had been recorded by the Gospel writers and the reactions of the family were given to us as support and encouragement. But God has seen otherwise. Yes, Jesus was God. But He was also human and had human emotions. He wept at the death of Lazarus. We can only imagine what it must have been like when Joseph died.

Amid our losses, our tragedies, we need to seek the comfort of our Lord. To the widow of Nain upon seeing the funeral procession for her only son, scripture says, “When the Lord saw her, He was moved with pity….” In His High Priestly prayer in John 14:18, He said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” Psalm 23:4 is the heart of God for us: “you are with me; your rod and staff comfort me.” Our God is a God of comfort. He is always there. We can always go to Him, especially during a tragedy.

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