Last Sunday, after getting home from church, I decided to watch Meet the Press with George Stephanopoulos, which I had recorded on my DVR. Of course, the subject at hand was about the impeachment trial of the President. I was so annoyed at the denial of the guest that I decided to go to Twitter, to see what people were saying about the program. But when I pulled Twitter up, I immediately saw the news of basketball great Kobe Bryant. I actually had to do a double-take and page down to see if I was reading was actually true.
I immediately started calling my brothers to see if they had heard. Two of them hadn’t and one of them had. After talking to a couple of friends, I got a call back from one of them telling me that it had been confirmed that Kobe’s 13-year old daughter was with him and had died as well. After gasping and yelling “no, no, no”, my thoughts immediately went to Kobe’s wife Vanessa and the pain she would now have to walk through.
There are so many layers to this tragedy. You have a mother who not only lost her husband but also, a child, which many people say is worse than losing a mate. Vanessa will have to endure both. She has a baby that is not even a year old. She will also have to deal with the grief of her children. Their oldest is 17-years old and will very much understand the loss. Of course, there is Kobe’s mother and father and siblings, friends and the world.
I did not know this man other than from Basketball, yet I was impacted upon hearing of his death. I immediately went into prayer because I know that only God can carry Vanessa through this kind of loss.
My thoughts went to how Kobe lived a charmed life which afforded him the ability to travel via helicopter to save time. He said he had to figure out a way to move around quickly, so he could spend time with his family and be present during special occasions. The thing his wealth afforded him, ultimately led to his demise.
This is my opinion, but sometimes when people are super successful and they endure endless accolades, it makes me fearful for them. When I looked at Kobe’s life, he was probably the greatest in basketball. His accomplishments were endless and he lived an extremely full life, maybe because his life would only be for 41 short years.
I prayed for Vanessa and continue to do so. I have also been praying for the other families. My heart broke for Mr. Mauser the husband of the assistant coach of the team Kobe’s daughter was on. He spoke so highly of his wife and my heart broke when he said, he was fearful of the future because he was going to have to raise his 3 young children alone. Then there is the Altobelli Famly. They were also split up. The mother and father and one daughter died and left behind a son and daughter who have lost both parents and a sibling. Jesus!
Then there is the Chester family. The mother and daughter died leaving a husband and two sons! And finally the 50-year old Pilot, Ara Zobayan.
So what can we say? Please don’t judge me, but I always ask the question, did this have to happen? Was this the plan of God? Was this his will? I always think that we have warnings about things. I noticed that Mr. Mauser said he was very uncomfortable with his wife flying on the helicopter. But of course. who would give up the opportunity to fly with Kobe Bryant? This husband seems regretful that he didn’t raise his objections. I know it’s all conjecture now, but honestly, this is how I think.
I remember a Pastor sharing a story about how he had just ministered at a church and suddenly the Lord spoke to him and said to go to another place instead of going home. He expressed this to his team and everyone, with the exception of his musician, went with him. The musician got on the plane but never made it home because the plane crashed. So what happened? The Pastor listened and obeyed God.
I believe in praying for God’s protection, but I also believe in listening and obeying. But you have to be in a certain place with God to allow him to change your plans. Most people just do what they want to do.
After I got my brand new car last August, a couple of people at my job started talking to me about having accidents. One girl, in particular, shared how she had an accident after getting her brand new car. I instinctively knew God was speaking. Well, that weekend the Lord said STAY HOME. Because I knew the stories I heard were warnings, I listened and obeyed. I had been in an accident several months earlier and knew it was not God’s will for me to crash my brand new car. I know most would say, couldn’t you just pray for safety? Well, a past experience having an accident after God told me not to use this lady’s car taught me otherwise. It’s about obedience.
What I just shared is for the living. Those of us who know God and want to live out our days. Listen. I remember JFK Jr’s mother begged him not to learn to fly a plane. After she died, he did it anyway and that was the way he died. I know what I am sharing is not popular, but hey, maybe this will help someone.
I think I have shared enough. And if you have gone through a tragedy recently it doesn’t necessarily mean you missed God or that he doesn’t love you. And if you find yourself is the worse tragedy ever, remember God loves you and He will see you through! RIP to all who perished on Kobe’s helicopter on that terrible day. My hope and prayer is that everyone on board knew Jesus and went to heaven. And remember to accept Jesus as your savior! Romans 10:9-10, John 3:16