Christian Living

Spiritual Life

When the Comfort Bubble Bursts

My wife and I always considered our family extremely blessed. After all, we were Christians living in America. We had plenty to eat and a roof over our heads. Our children walked with the Lord, our finances were stable, and our health was good. Sure, we loved the Lord, but we’d grown quite . . . comfortable.

Comfort and blessings in the lives of believers are not a bad thing, but when all is going well and the horizon is free of turmoil and suffering, we can be seduced by the false notation tragedy will never strike. Hard times, pain, and loss will never come, even though Jesus warned it would (John 16:33 NIV). We fell victim to that delusion and settled into our own little comfort bubble.

That bubble burst on the evening of July 11, 2017, when we were given the news no parent ever wants to hear: our beloved son Christopher was killed in a car crash on his way home from work. Every parent’s nightmare became our reality.

Through this last agonizing year-and-a-half, three critical lessons have stood out in our faith journey through extreme suffering and catastrophic loss:

1. Trust what you know about God, and know what you trust

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

In those early hours and days after Chris’s death as we struggled with the trauma and grief, I could little more than utter, “God, help us.” No deep theological musings, no eloquent or elaborate prayers—only the heartfelt cry from my soul to my Creator. 

I by no means walked flawlessly through this process. I lashed out in anger, questioned, doubted. But after each emotional outburst, God gently drew me back to what I knew to be true—whether in good times or heartbreak, whether before the accident or after—God is our Rock and our Salvation, and He is good, in control, and would get us through it. Sometimes that was all we had to cling to, but it was enough.

2. God has a purpose for everything, even the worst things.

This one is tough because I don’t fully understand God’s purpose for Chris’s death, but I trust He has one, if not many. He has given us some small glimpses though.

Over six hundred people attended the funeral, and the Gospel was preached to many who possibly never heard the message before. We had amazing and powerful conversations with friends and family after the service and numerous times since.

One of Chris’ friends is a youth pastor and was speaking at a retreat a week after the funeral. He shared Chris’s story, their lives together at school, and Chris’s faithfulness to Christ throughout the various challenges and temptations of college life. Many of the young people responded to the Gospel message at the end.

And, I’m ashamed to admit, I have shared my faith more in the last year-and-a-half than I probably did in the ten years prior. Chris’s death has catapulted me out of my comfort bubble and focused me back on our true mission here: proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to a hurting world.

We’ll never know this side of eternity how many lives were impacted by the ripples of Chris’s untimely death, but God can use our tragedies for His purposes and glory. He promises us so. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

3. This is not our home.

It’s easy to get stuck in our comfort bubble when we convince ourselves this broken, sin-saturated world is our primary residence and final destination. We obsess over the crumbling ruins and rancid table scraps of this fading reality while ignoring the eternal mansions and glorious feasts God has prepared for us in Heaven, our real home (Heb. 13:14).

I believe God allows tragedy and pain in our lives to loosen our grip on this troubled, chaotic world and reorient our lives, resting in the hope of someday being with the Lord, where He will wipe away every tear, heal every hurt, comfort every sorrow, and make all things new (Rev. 21:4).

Every Christian’s deep desire is to meet our Savior face-to-face and hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I long for that day as well, but now I have added anticipation of seeing my son again and hearing him say, “Welcome home, dad.” 

Copyright © 2019 Mark Mynheir, used by permission.

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