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“Anna … was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” Luke 2:36-37

Birgitta of Sweden on an altarpiece in Salem church, Södermanland, Sweden (WikiCommons)
Birgitta of Sweden on an altarpiece in Salem church, Södermanland, Sweden (WikiCommons)

Our response as Christians to tragedy, suffering, loss and the like reveal a lot about our faith and trust in God and His Word. When all is going well, we confess our faith and trust in God and His Word and outwardly we look spiritually strong. But when the winds of adversity blow on us, doubts set in. As normal human beings some of us may initially display certain emotions based on our personalities; but beyond that how do we handle the situation long term?

We have a lot to learn from Anna. She became a widow just seven years into her marriage and nothing is mentioned about children. The fact that she spent most of each day and night in the temple may be a confirmation that she had no children. Yet there is no indication of anger or bitterness toward God; rather, she was full of worship.

We should not look for meaning and purpose in life through a spouse, children, career, wealth, education, etc. because when the carpet is pulled from under our feet, we will fall, and our lives will be a disaster. We will blame God and everyone around us. But if like Anna our purpose is to live for God, then even when adversity strikes, it will draw us closer to God and we will worship Him.

Resources


Power to Overcome the Adversary
Elder Peter M. Johnson – How do we find peace, remember who we are, and overcome the three Ds of the adversary?

Rev. Sunday Bwanhot Author:
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago and ECWA USA DCC Chairman.

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