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Turning Tradgedy into Triumph


If you’re a fan of college basketball, then undoubtedly you saw/heard about the University of Louisville basketball game versus Duke and the horrific injury to Louisville player Kevin Ware. He leaped to block a shot, landed at an odd angle and snapped his leg. The injury was so gruesome that CBS stopped the replays. Players on both teams were weeping as play was halted so the medical staff could render aid. A strange hush descended upon the floor as the once noisy arena became eerily silent. At least two lessons were learned that day…


            1. It takes courage to continue. When the referee blew the whistle to resume play, it almost seemed out of place. And yet it was essential for the players to refocus and get back to the business at hand. There was nothing they could do for their teammate. He was in good hands and on the way to the hospital and surgery. As hard as it was, they had to move on. And so do we.


            I think of the period of mourning God gave His people following the death of Moses (Deut.34:5, 8). They mourned for thirty days and then God announced it was time to cross the Jordan and move on (Joshua 1:1-2). Was that easy for them? No. Was it necessary for them? Yes. Sometimes, and as hard as it is, life must move forward. In reality, that is part of God’s healing process. One of the saddest scenes is when someone faces tragedy and after a reasonable amount of time, they refuse to move on. It’s like they become stuck in mental quicksand (Ps.40:2—“the mud of the mire”) and become trapped in time. God will lift you from the pit of despair, but only if you are willing. It’s not healthy to stay stuck. It takes courage (and faith!) to move on.


            2. It takes unselfishness to encourage others when you are struggling. As Kevin Ware was carried from the court, he called his teammates to his side. Rather than feeling sorry for himself, he told them, “Win the game! Just win the game!” No pity party. No playing the victim card. In a moment of personal struggle, he became the cheerleader for others. What a picture of unselfishness! One of the best ways to lift yourself when you are down is to lift up someone else (you can always find someone in worse shape than you are). Question: Have you ever visited someone in the hospital with the intention of cheering them up only to come away realizing that they cheered you up?

That seems backwards. However, it is a picture of Christ-likeness.


            Yes, tragedy can turn to triumph, but only if…we are available

to learn the lessons. And rest assured; there are always lessons to be