“…All except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.”Acts 8:1b-2
Tragedy nearly always leaves a wake behind. As soldiers I knew lost their lives, my deployment finally started catching up to me. I was tired, spiritually undernourished, and bitter. My ministry to my soldiers felt increasingly forced. And I was lonely. I had not grieved the absence of my wife and baby boy more than I did at that point.
I am sure you have felt like that too—in the places where grief wanders unaccompanied, in the dark nights when no friends are there to counsel. I wonder if that is how the friends of Stephen felt at his martyrdom—pained, confused, and lost. And they had little time to think because the murderous Saul was at their heels. Men, women, and children were frantically fleeing on foot.
Yet, “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” Their aimless suffering—your aimless suffering—is not so aimless after all. In the overarching, heaven-high providence of our Lord, He even uses your grief for your good and the glory of His Son. Remember that truth in your dark night.
The aftermath of your tragedy is the beginning of a new awakening to His grace.