The news reports the last couple of weeks have been filled with the Ethiopian plane crash that killed 157 people including eighteen Canadians. Many of the dead were people who worked for humanitarian organizations around the globe. They were people who wanted to make the world a better place. I cannot fathom the unimaginable grief felt by families who lost loved ones on that Ethiopian flight. It is indeed one of the most tragic events in recent years.
I do not like flying. Although my husband says it is a far safer mode of travel than day to day driving a car, I still don’t like it. Especially when I hear of plane crashes such as the one this past week, where there appears to have been an aircraft problem. Boeing aircraft are being grounded world-wide to determine what caused the crash and whether or not there was some kind of mechanical issue with that particular model of plane. This is disconcerting for all travellers. My husband and I are planning a holiday in June to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary and I was trepidatious about our flights before this plane crash, and now I’m wondering how this investigation will affect us with booking air travel in the near future. The sad fact remains, regardless of the findings, 157 people are gone.
How do we process such a tragedy? I’ve listened to the news over the past week and I’ve been a bit disgusted by the focus on travellers being “inconvenienced” because of grounded planes, Boeing investors upset at falling stock prices, and questions about who will ultimately be responsible for the cost of clean up. All I can think about are the grieving families. Should they not be the main focus of attention?
The terrible shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand followed only days after the Ethiopian plane crash. Fifty people massacred while praying in their mosque. When people feel threatened and unsafe in their chosen places of worship, we have a serious, world-wide problem. There is no excuse for that kind of violence against any faith group. As Christians we need to condemn this horrendous act.
I think because of the fact that we are so globally linked through the internet, we are inundated with news, fake and otherwise, that has us question whether or not God really is in control right now. Locally, my prayer journal is filled with requests from friends and church family who are experiencing health and life-changing challenges. I find myself overwhelmed at times by the misfortunes and hurts of others. Surely, there must be some Good News?! How can I give Him praise in the face of adversity?
The Holy Spirit spoke to me through Scripture today: “O God, listen to me! Hear my prayer! For wherever I am, though far away at the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help. When my heart is faint and overwhelmed, lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of safety. For you are my refuge, a high tower where my enemies can never reach me. I shall live forever in your tabernacle; oh, to be safe beneath the shelter of your wings! For you have heard my vows, O God, to praise you every day, and you have given me the blessings you reserve for those who reverence your name. You will give me added years of life, as rich and full as those of many generations, all packed into one. And I shall live before the Lord forever. Oh, send your loving-kindness and truth to guard and watch over me, and I will praise your name continually, fulfilling my vow of praising you each day.” (Psalm 61 – The Living Bible – TLB)
I am called to praise Him, no matter the struggle, no matter the plight, no matter the fear. He is Sovereign. He is in control. He hears my prayers. He is the mighty, towering Rock of safety. He is my refuge!
Today, I am praying that in the midst of adversity, in the midst of trouble, in the midst of heartache, I will continue to praise Him!
Will you join me in praying for the families who are grieving the loss of loved ones over these past few weeks? Will you pray that they will be comforted by the Holy Spirit and He will be revealed to them even in their heartache? Then, join me in praising God in the midst of adversity. He is in control.