How Should We React to Tragedy?

Due to the convenience of modern media, we have been made constantly aware of the tragedies that are happening all around the globe. It wasn’t that terrible things were not happening before, but people just didn’t know about it nearly as fast, or many times they would never hear of it at all.

I have often struggled to know how to react to tragedy. On the surface level it breaks my heart, but then I think about it for a few minutes, maybe talk to a few people about how horrible it must be for those people, and then I move on. But what else are we supposed to do? Should we react any differently?

We cannot grieve every terrible occurrence that happens in the world, but should we just acknowledge it and move on? I hear about something terrible in the news, and I feel so unaffected, and yet like I really should be affected by it. Not that grieving the tragedy will do anyone any good, but it seems like there should be more emotional involvement. We cannot volunteer for every tornado clean up, or donate money to every cause.

What I can do is pray. I can pray. Although we all say “pray for these people, or this area,” when tragedy occurs; how many of us actually get down on our knees, either alone or with others, and mourn for these people. Do we ask for God’s divine intervention on behalf of people who have lost homes, loved ones, businesses, a sense of security, and possibly a lot more than that? God is good, and He loves to answer prayer.

It is so easy to look around at our comfortable lives and forget that we are in a battle. We become so focused on ourselves, and our problems, that we do not take the time to pray for others, even if we say we will pray for them! There is something beautiful about humbling ourselves before the throne of God and mourning for those we do not know. It keeps us humble. It gives us a reality check; that this world is not forever, and we are such a small part of the story of the Earth.

I believe that to have a healthy self-image, you must get your focus off of yourself. You must humble yourself before the throne of God, and pray that He gives you His heart for others. Our whole society has become so numb. The church is so disgustingly unengaged in the spiritual battle that rages around us.

It does not take an excessive amount of time to take a moment, either alone or with friends, and pray. Just five minutes maybe? Grieve the loss of others. Pray for God’s hand to move in these people. To provide. To bring light to the darkest places. If you know that you should pray, and you struggle to know what to pray for; turn on the news. Think beyond yourself.

Father, my heart is so broken for the people that have lost their homes and loved ones in the tornadoes that hit Dallas the day after Christmas. God, they have lost so much, and at such a terrible time. Bring light to these dark days. Surround then with people who can love them and carry them through this time of grief. I pray for incredible provision for these people. That people would look back to this tragedy and see how You moved in such a powerful way bringing beauty from the ashes. I pray that these homes would be rebuilt quickly and that every person would be provided for. I pray that through this people would draw nearer to You. That person who do not know You would look to You. I pray that You would break down the lies of false security and comfort and that people in this area would see their need for You to be their hope, security, and comfort in this life. In Jesus’ name, I pray.

An aerial image taken Sunday, December 27, 2015 shows the path of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. Violent storms ripped through the North Texas area late Saturday, spawning tornados that killed 11 people. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)



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