Death Comes in Threes?

My mother used to say death comes in threes.

I remember hearing her remark, during my childhood, about how one person died, then another died a few days later, and who would be the third? As I grew older, I chalked it up to superstition.

But trouble does seem to come in waves, doesn’t it?

I lived an illustration of this point a few years ago (which I journaled because the whole experience was so bizarre). In less than a week we encountered the following:

Saturday: no electricity in the entire house
Sunday: the car wouldn’t start
Monday: took the car in for repair (and a big, fat repair bill)
Tuesday: the telephone land line died
Wednesday: found a HUGE infestation of ants in the dog food bin (ewww!)
Thursday: the central air conditioner stopped working

Three weeks later:

Our irrigation system stopped working
Our well collapsed
A toilet leak flooded the bathroom

One week after that:

I chipped a tooth AND
lost a house key.

All those events combined don’t compare to what happened last week. In one week, I learned of four deaths that touched people I knew locally: three people lost their husbands, and another lost her father. Within my extended publishing community, two Christian authors also died.

As I lamented these deaths, a friend in Alaska emailed me to say three of her friends lost their moms during that same same week. And this week, another friend lost her mother.

Times like these make me thankful for my Refuge.

When I wrote One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God, it was a joy to focus on God’s nature and His ways. During difficult times, I am especially driven to the names and attributes of God that remind me of His sovereign care. For example:

Abba – He is the intimate Father who cares for His child. I am precious to Him.

       Matthew 6:32 (NLT) – “Your heavenly Father knows all your needs.”

 Refuge – He is a safe haven. I can run to Him and enjoy the safety of abiding in His presence.

Psalm 91:4 (NIV) – “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.”

Compassionate – In His compassion, He sees my pain and alleviates my suffering in ways only He can.

    Nehemiah 9:31 (NASB) – “You are a gracious and compassionate God.”

Comforter – He has promised never to leave me alone. His Spirit comforts me in my darkest moments.

John 14:16 (KJV) – “He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”

I am so grateful to know, whatever my situation, there is a relevant name or attribute of God that will draw me to Him and meet me where I am…even during the worst of times.

What are some names and attributes of God you run to during difficult times?


2 responses to “Death Comes in Threes?”

  1. Velena McGray says:

    Thank you Ava,
    I needed this. I was just saying this week that you
    always hear things happen in 3’s, but NO, not in my
    life it seems to be 5’s and 10s. I asked for prayer
    from friends.

    This reminded me to seek refuge in HIM!

  2. admin says:

    Those times seem to overwhelm us, don’t they, Velena? So grateful we have our Refuge to run to! (And friends to pray!)

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