U.S. Son on Malaysia Flight

Sand Sculpture of Malaysia Airplane in God's Hands

News Video: Grieving US Mother Clings To God

Grievous disappearance

How does a mother respond when crisis strikes?

Sondra Wood had just seen her son, Philip, the week before he disappeared on the Malaysian aircraft, flight 370. Philip had visited her Texas home and shared about his IBM job-move from Beijing to Malaysia.

“He was excited about his new adventure,” says the devastated mother. “Only people who know God can survive things like this in a good way. I know in my heart I will get through this.”

As a Christian, Sondra knows God doesn’t spare us from trouble. He does, however, keep us safe in his eternal hands and never lets us go.

“I know in my heart that Philip is with God,” she continues. “And I plan to be there with him because I have a deep faith in my God.”

Her faith shines as a beacon in this dark time. I hope I would shine as brightly.

Trials are opportunities to turn to God with passion and determination. To sink our broken selves into his love with child-like trust. When we look to Jesus in the midst of grief, he gives us supernatural strength in exchange for frail, human weakness, and out-of-this-world peace above our lack of understanding.




I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about how life doesn’t make sense from our earthly perspective. We only see part of a rainbow–until we’re flying high above it. Then and only then can we see how it connects into a full beautiful circle. Right now, though, separation from our loved ones feels like a severed limb. We feel broken and incomplete.

One of the things I loved about watching Sondra’s news story was seeing others gather around her for hugs and support. Times of brokenness are opportunities for others to rise up and be an extension of Jesus’ hands and feet.


But God…


No matter what you’re going through today, I pray God sends the right people to love and support you. And may you feel God’s presence in an extra deep, personal way. He wants that for you.

As someone familiar with the worst pain and suffering, including separation from his Father, Jesus not only understands what you feel, but he also deeply desires to restore and to lavish you with amazing, mind-blowing things he prepared for you since the beginning of time. And so we wait and groan. The best is yet to come.


For such a time as this


If you know someone going through a grievous time right now, perhaps this is your call to rise up and be the arms and feet of Christ for that person. Ask God for an opportunity to “be there.” Be a flesh and blood example of God in their midst. To listen, cry with them with, and hold them.

He holds each one of us in his tender embrace. Perhaps that’s why I like the picture of the sandcastle-hands holding the plane. What a creative way for an artist to reach out to the families of the hurting right now. We may be miles away, but we’re never too far to love and pray. Prayer makes powerful waves ahead of us. Angels wait to do God’s bidding and you and I can be part of that. 

Father, thank you that you are alive and well in the midst of this floundering pain, hair-scratching confusion, and erratic emotion. We’re never off your radar. You never let us go. Not now, not ever. Thank you, eternal King. Thank you, ever-present Comforter. Please be with the grieving families right now. In your Son’s name.

You may want to listen again to Sondra’s comforting words: I plan to be there with him because I have a deep faith in God.” Feel free to add your thoughts and prayers in the reply section below.


  1. That is so beautiful, comforting and encouraging. Thank you and God bless you!

  2. Cheryl, what a beautiful and touching post. Thank you for your sensitive words about such a sad and timely topic. It has helped me to personalize my ongoing prayers for the families.

    • Thanks a whole big bunch, sweet Judy! I’m glad my post helps you personalize your prayers with our heavenly Father. Thanks for caring for the families. God hears each one of those prayers. Much love to you!

  3. Bert Savarese |

    Beautiful words but so terribly sad to the emptiness of not knowing the full story, or where to put the ending of a life in context of what we had always thought; the normalcy of a reverent good bye that our society expects of a long life, the moments where we are understood in our grieving & wailing, the long days & nights where acceptance finalizes our mourning but not the sadness that edges our hearts that cannot be chiseled away. “It is a process” we are told, but why didn’t anyone tell me of the raging river that snakes along thru my days, churning, while I turn to God, sometimes still asking “why?”. Always, He holds my hand thru a mother’s grief.

    Cheryl: I have lost my son in a different way but thru the wiles of satan & societies permissiveness. I grief with as another more & pray for God’s Hand to warm & guide each of us. MomBert

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