When Tragedy Strikes

What do we say to someone in the midst of a tragedy? When tragedy strikes like a family member getting cancer or a tornado rips through the town, people long to know why God did or did not do anything to prevent it. As believers, it can be a difficult and weighty situation when speaking to unbelievers in the midst of tragedy.  The follow blog was written by David Shrock over at the Gospel Coalition blog. It is a great example of how to speak mercy and truth to someone dealing with tragedy.

When the winds raged and the waves threatened, the disciples awoke Jesus with fear in their hearts. Jesus arose, stood on the storm-tossed boat and spoke three simple words, “Peace!  Be still!” The winds ceased and the storm ended faster than it came (Mark 4:39).

In that moment, the terrified fishermen were more frightened by the man in their presence with the power to subdue nature than they were of drowning under the heavy waves. God’s Son in human form had just displayed his divine power, and that with a word.  On that lakeside journey, Jesus stopped the storm with a sentence. On May 22, in Joplin, Missouri, he didn’t.

For the disciples, Jesus stopped the storm and it led to a question of his identity: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (4:41). For the survivors in Joplin, the question is different. For them and for anyone staggering from a recent world-halting tragedy, the question is closer to that of the Psalmist, “How long oh Lord? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Ps 13:1). Because Jesus word did not stop the storm before it hit last week, there is now the need for Jesus word to come speak “Peace. Be Still.”

With such a need in mind, let me suggest four words from God’s Word that I pray may bring a biblical perspective to those bruised and broken by the storm, and to those ministering to them.

Read the rest of the blog here.

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