Gratitude Day 396

Fri., Jan. 31, 2020

Job 23:3-5: Oh, that I knew where to find God—that I could go to his throne and talk with him there. I would tell him all about my side of this argument, and listen to his reply, and understand what he wants.

Does the name Christina Mauser ring a bell to you?

It didn’t for me either.

I actually Googled it so I could share her name with you.

A week ago, Christina was a normal mom, wife, basketball coach. Over the weekend, she died in a helicopter crash that took eight other lives.

You might recognize the name of one of those who died with Christina. His name was Kobe.

Christina was an assistant coach for the Mamba Academy basketball team on which Gianna Bryant played. Christina, Gianna, Kobe and six other people were headed to a basketball game Sunday morning. Unfortunately, they never made.

A mother of three, Christina’s husband’s world has been turned upside down. Matt Mauser spoke with one of the morning television show on Monday, less than 24 hours after his wife passed. After asking if he could tell about his wife, Matt described Christina as witty, technologically savvy and a person with a great ability to coach defense for basketball.

“It’s horrible,” Matt said. “I’ve got three small kids and am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom.”

Doesn’t your heart just break for Matt?

I have no words for Matt, his kids, his family and friends. I have no words for the Bryant family nor the other three families that lost loved ones in the crash. This is one of those times when all I can do is stutter because any words I would say would feel and be terribly inadequate.

I don’t know Matt. I don’t know his feelings or emotions. Where he is spiritually. Nor can I put words into his mouth. It is a possibility that he might feel a bit like Job when Job pleads with God, “Oh, if I only knew where to find God. Then, I could finally have a conversation with God and find out what I did wrong to cause this horrific thing to happen to me. Maybe, things might begin to make sense.”

Like Job, Matt must feel powerless in dealing with this awful thing that has happened to him and his family. Like many people who go through grief, they only want answers. Yet, the answers are terribly evasive and seldom forthcoming.

I pray people are patient with Matt and his family. I pray they surround him with prayers and love and care. I pray that people are doing the same for the Altobelli, Chester, Zobayan and Bryant families.

Will we ever really know what happened in that helicopter? Most likely, not. Accidents are called accidents for a reason. Bad things happen. Not because someone did something to “deserve” punishment. Bad things happen to good people and we often can’t explain why. We can just call them accidents.

I don’t believe God “caused” this accident to happen. It just happened.

Why didn’t God stop it from happening? My only response is to stutter.

I wish that I could wrap Matt up in a big hug and tell him that I’m praying for him and his family. Because I will be. I would also love for the Altobelli, Chester, Zobayan and Bryant families to know that so many are praying for them as well.

I have no other words for them. But now, I know Christina’s name. And John, Keri and Alyssa’s name. As well as Sarah and Payton, and Ara. And yes, Kobe and Gianna are names we have heard a thousand times this week.

God knows all of their names as well. God knows the names of their families and friends that are struggling right now. For anyone who has or is going through a difficult time: God knows your name. God knows your pain. God feels your struggle. Even if God didn’t seemingly do anything to “fix” these situations, God longs to wrap God’s arms around you and give you a big hug.

Sometimes, even God doesn’t have a lot of words. If you are struggling this day, I pray you envision God giving you a big old bear hug. Because God knows your name as well.

For God’s presence on bad days, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Dear God – Wrap into your arms those who are struggling today. May they know You are with them. And may the prayers of many bring them just a bit of comfort and peace today. Amen.

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