“And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so?”
Very few things reveal what you are more than hardships and trials. Many have claimed to be something great only to be revealed as frauds when the pressure of trials and battles arrived. It is not what you say or do when everything is going well that reveals what you are saying is real, but it is what you do when the hardships, trials and battles come that reveal you to those whom you have tried to influence.
Ezekiel found out the power of this truth when God told him that his wife was going to die from a stroke. God told Ezekiel that his wife was going to die from a stroke, but He also told him not to mourn or weep for his wife, but to get up and keep going as if she were alive. That night that his wife died, I’m sure it was hard to follow this message, but when the next morning came and he put his clothes on and went and did as he was commanded is what revealed how real God was to Him.
In fact, it was his actions in tragedy that validated his message. The verse above is a result of Ezekiel continuing in tragedy. The people asked after seeing Ezekiel continue, “Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so?” They knew something was different about Ezekiel because he didn’t stop when his wife died. They realized that most people would have stopped preaching and quit on God, but to see him continue revealed to them the greatness of His God and his message. This incident in Ezekiel’s life teaches three things that every believer should learn and follow.
First, how you act in tragedy reveals how big God is to you. It is easy to say that God is a big enough God to help you through all trials when everything is going well, but tragedy has a way of testing you and your belief in the bigness and power of God. God is not a big God to you if you quit when tragedy comes. My friend, tragedy is going to come, and you had better settle now that what you tell people to do in your times of ease is true when the pressure from tragedy screams at you to quit. Let me remind you that God’s power has not waned just because tragedy has come your way. God is as powerful today in the midst of your tragedy as He was when you sang on the mountaintop about His power and comfort.
Second, who you talk to and what you do in tragedy reveals who you trust. Many people have run to vice in their times of tragedy to get their minds off the anguish that the tragedy caused only to find that the vice made their anguish greater. Many have run to social media and friends to bemoan their tragedy in hopes that someone will feel sorry for them. However, the person who runs to God to cast their worries and frets on God, but not to run from their cross, has always found that God is big enough to trust in tragedy as He was to trust in the good times.
Third, continuing in tragedy is the validation of your message. People are watching you to see what you do when tragedy hits, and the only way they can test what you are saying is true is if you continue when tragedy comes your way. My friend, nobody said you had to enjoy the tragedy that your cross brings, but people are watching you to see if what you have said throughout the years is true. You validate God in the eyes of those watching you if you continue to do what you have told others to do when tragedy hits your life.