Exactly one year ago, a cloud of grief descended on the Nigerian nation as the news of Dana Air Flight 992 spread like wildfire. The Media and Social Networks buzzed with updates on the event and the identifying the victims of the crash even before the official flight manifest was released. It was one of the worst air disasters recorded in the Nigerian aviation history.
Grief poured out like rainfall as people who knew them posted pictures of whole families perishing in the ill-fated aircraft on social network sites like Facebook.
One year later, the airline that owned the aircraft is back in operation and it is business as usual but for those who lost loved ones, which includes me; we can only take comfort in the one who comforts those who grieve. Knowledge of scripture helps us as Christians to find strength and comfort in God. God did not immunise anyone of us from grief and trouble. This is why Jesus Himself pronounced those words at the sermon of the mount, 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted' (Matthew 5:4)
No doubt, on the anniversary of this incident, many of us will grieve afresh as if the event just happened. The worst thing about plane crashes is that some people end up grieving for multiple losses at once. Imagine a father who lost his children or a mother who lost her husband and children or worse still, grandparents who lost not only their child but grandchildren as well.
In our grief however, God has promised that He will provide comfort and rest for our souls. No doubt, many would ask the question, 'Why did he allow the plane to crash? Could he not have protected the Christians on board? Why did He not spare the children?' I have no answers to these questions but I know one thing, God knows what it feels like to grieve.
Imagine God's grief when man chose death in Garden of Eden by disobeying Him. Imagine His grief when He had to give up His only begotten son to die for the sins of many. Can you imagine a father watching his son being humiliated, tortured and finally out to death and he could not so much as lift a hand to help him? God is no stranger to grief; He knows exactly how you feel at this time.
In spite of the pain of losing a loved one however, as Christians, we rejoice in the hope that we have in His promise; that one day, He will wipe all our tears away and there will be no more crying or pain. What a day to look forward to!
Before that day however, we will continue to find comfort and rest in the Lord. The fact is that we live in a transient world. Babies are born everyday and people die every day. We pray that we all live to a ripe old age but the reality is that death can come calling any time. People often attribute the death of a young person to a curse or sin but that is not necessarily so. Death is a stark reality and event that everyone must be ready for, as we have no control over it. However as long as we are here on earth, God promised that He would watch over us and protect us. When He however allows events like this to happen, we can trust that He allowed it for a purpose that we may not be able to explain or understand.
As I thought back to this incident, I saw a verse of scripture that I believe is speaking to everyone grieving now, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10)
Grief is a part of human existence. No one goes through life without going through the process; some may go through it more times than others; however, the grieving process helps us understand frailty of man and the eternal omniscience of God. For us as Christians however, we rejoice in the hope that after our journey here on earth, we have a promise and title deed to an eternal home with God. This is the reason why we do not grieve like others who do not have that hope. It is also the reason why we are able to comfort others when they are going through the grieving process.
“Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org