What Do You Say?

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Her sixty-two-year-old father teeters between life and death after a severe stroke. As a single mom with four small children living two hundred miles away, her heart tears in two. What do you say?

A coworker was just handed divorce papers. His face pales as his twenty-two-year-old marriage slips from his grip. What do you say?

What is there to say when tragedy strikes?

Proverbs 2:1-5 gives us a clue:

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

When tragedy hits and the reasons seem unclear, words feel futile. You wring your hands, tongue-tied. That’s the moment to turn your ear to God and ask Him for help. Cry aloud to understand so you can, in turn, know how to comfort the person in the deep throngs of grief and bewilderment. Step out of yourself, your own inadequacies, or your desire to band-aid it all, and let the Holy Spirit’s warmth and wisdom guide your actions and your words. Then, you will know what to say.

All-knowing, All-caring God, please instill in us Your wisdom so we know how to respond in love and comfort to a hurting world and shine forth Your glory and peace. Through Your Son, we pray. Amen.

Thought: When you read about, hear about or witness a tragedy, take a moment to pray before you respond. Let God equip you. Then have faith that He is working through you.

By Julie Cosgrove

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