Choices we make in tragedy impact a long way. My Great Grandfather John M Nelson was born in Norway in 1869. His father was a stern man and when his mother died when he was 11, all childhood went with it. He had to go to work to float his family. At roughly age 21 he moved to the US and met Jensine Olsen, also a Norwegian immigrant. They lost a few houses to tragedy. One to a flood of the Red River and another shortly after to a bad fire. Despite these hardships, he was able to start general stores and get rich. They had 8 children together. They were Norwegian Baptists, and this big wealthy family always sat at the front of the church. John was an elder.
Then Jensine got sick and died suddenly in 1911. His daughter said her deeply sensitive Dad was the Captain of their family, but steady Jensine was the rudder.
He fell into depression and sat around the house every day. A “friend” came over and took him to a bar and then he did that every day. Bad guys got him to sign contracts when he was drunk, and the family fell into poverty. The church kicked him off the elder board. He ended in poverty in Canada. My grandfather was 13 when his mother died. He was not unlike his father in loss of mother.
Choices We Make in Tragedy Are Critical
In tragedy, people either turn to God or turn away from God. My Great Grandfather, the first Nelson in our family line, turned away with horrible impact on my family. I will write about Grandfather Nelson next week.
I wonder what my family would have looked like if my Great Grandfather had chosen God. Aware of this, I choose God in trial as know the trials of leaving behind the light of the Good News. See also Do We Get Lucky?
God bless my children and yours. Lord, help me and them make decisions for God in each trial and thus bring light to their/our families and the world.