Unspeakable tragedies

This week has once again shown that we live in a fallen world.  Best defined as ‘unspeakable tragedies’ have occurred around the world and also right here in our midst of western Pa.  The earthquake of Haiti, claiming tens of thousands of lives and the murder of Pa. State Police Trooper Paul Ritchey, while responding to a domestic dispute call, serve as reminder that something is terribly wrong within creation.

I call them ‘unspeakable’ because most of us cannot find the words to describe our feelings or to express our condolences to the victims’ families and survivors of the Haitian disaster and especially to our neighbors, the Ritchey family.  I wrestle even as I write, to justify my even commenting on these tragedies.  As a Christ follower, as one who believes in a sovereign God ruling in every affair of man, as a believer placing my trust in the fact that God is good, merciful and just, how do I respond to the grief and the apprehension of those left behind?  What actions should I be prompted to?  Or do I remain silent?  With humility and fear of sounding trite, I offer the following.

In the immediacy of the situation let us pray.  Let Peter’s prayer as he sank on the water, “Lord, save me” be enough.  When we know not how to pray let Peter’s example of crying out to His only Savior, Jesus Christ, be our example.  Let us pray for the families and survivors that God grant His grace and comfort which surpasses all of our human understanding.  At the end of the day, we need to pray and we need to encourage the victims to also cry out to their only true source of rescue.  God is our ‘rock and our salvation’.

Next we need to reach out.  Let us not be simply spectators in an age of  immediate and constant news casts.  Let the images of hurting victims and of grieving families, be the catalyst to spur us to action.  Go, send aid, alleviate suffering, counsel or simply compassionately listen as grief is shared.   Comfort one another, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Lastly, let us fervently ask God to send, in a mighty way, His ‘good news’ of His son Jesus Christ to all who were affected by these tragedies.  The Gospel is the only thing which brings true comfort and lasting peace.  God has reconciled man to Himself through His son Jesus.  Yes we live in a fallen world, and unspeakable tragedies happen, but our hope, our comfort lies in the fact that through repentance of sins and faith in Jesus Christ, we look heavenward and see not our Judge on the throne of creation but our Father.  We see our ‘Daddy’, with out stretched arms longing to embrace His hurting children.

To the Ritchey family, many eulogies and memorials will soon be written, as rightfully they should be. Paul stood for something beyond himself and 19867_252131281386_712386386_3338423_6107472_n willingly faced the threat daily for a cause greater than his own safety and for that we, as a society, are most grateful. Let him be an example of selflessness to all generations.   Our most profound condolences go out to you.   But if in those quiet moments the memorials fall short, know this God; loves you and longs to comfort His children. Call out to Him and He will be found.

“Lord, do not allow us to suppose upon your will in the midst of our calamity but use these moments to draw us ever closer to the arms of a loving Father.  Grant comfort and grace to those in need and spur each of us from easy complacency to action.  Allow your Gospel, to go forth with power in a hurting and fallen world”

soli deo gloria


3 thoughts on “Unspeakable tragedies

  1. There is absolutly nothing that I can add or say about your comments. But I thank you for saying what many of us are thinking. May God’s grace always be with you.

  2. Well said Pastor Guy. Truly anyones greatest need is to have a personal relationship to Jesus Christ.
    My heart and prayers go out in the midst of these tragedys. Sharon Haag

  3. Again well said Pastor Guy. I also agree with Sharon, prayering for all those effected by these tragedys.

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