Credit: Rolling Stone
When country star, Craig Strickland, left for a hunting trip, he was expecting to come home. But tragedy is like a sucker punch -- you typically don't see it coming, and the unexpectedness only intensifies the sting. But how Craig's family is responding to his unexpected death is a truly inspiring example of faith.
Craig was a singer in the up-and-coming country rock band, Backroad Anthem. After Christmas, he decided to head out with his friend, Chase Morland, to do some duck hunting at Oklahoma's Kaw Lake. Unfortunately, a fierce winter storm was hitting the area at the same time with rain, sleet and snow, wind gusts of up to 45 mph and wind chills as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a disturbing case of foreshadowing, Craig's friend Chase actually tweeted about the harsh conditions.
When the friends didn't return home, their families reported them missing. Chase's body was found two days later, and it was determined he had drowned after their boat had capsized. It took roughly another week to find Craig. But the tragic discovery of his body also carried with it signs of God's grace. Craig was found laying on his back, in the shape of a cross. Craig's widow, Helen, described the scene beautifully in a post on Instagram:
Craig's bandmates expressed their heartache through Facebook, offering up Revelation 21:4 for solace.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
The loss is incredibly heartbreaking. But the faith shown by Craig's loved ones is truly amazing. Helen continues to turn to God for strength during this time of grief.
As the family prepared to lay Craig to rest, Helen asked fans to pray that the Lord would give her the strength to get through the memorial service. She found comfort in the signs God sent her in her darkest moments.
And through all of the tears and heartache, Helen never stopped praising God.
What an incredible example of what it means to praise Him through the storm. Our prayers go out to Craig's and Chase's families during this incredibly difficult time.
This family also trusted in God during trying times!