Every time I encounter a time like this of real tragedy. I am reminded of a story from 2Kings. Below I am sharing that passage and some thoughts I shared with Highland last year after our community there suffered several real tragedies in quick succession.
Before I get to that though, I wanted to share another quick thought. When we encounter times like this either personally or when we see others going through a tragedy, we often pray for God to give us strength or peace or comfort. I think it is good and right to do this, but I think it is important to understand what we are asking for and what God's Holy Spirit provides.
If we are asking God to provide us with enough of our own strength or our own peace - I think we are actually asking for the impossible. Simply put, I don't believe we can handle the worst that this life throws us on our own. What we should be asking for and what I believe we often receive is God's strength to carry us through. God's peace - that is beyond our understanding or comprehension - to allow us to make it in the most difficult of circumstances. There are things in this life - difficult, impossible things that all of us at one time or another face (to varying degrees) Being a Christian or following God does not excuse us from these difficult times. But it does mean that we know where we can turn to find the God that is faithful and has promised strength (God's strength) enough for the day, comfort for our tears (from a God that has himself suffered pain, tragedy and loss) and light for our way (even through the darkest days and times).
Now here is the passage from 2Kings and some of my thoughts:
She replied, "I have a home among my own people."
Gehazi said, "Well, she has no son and her husband is old."
"No, my lord," she objected. "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!"
His father told a servant, "Carry him to his mother." 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.
"It's all right," she said.
When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, "Look! There's the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, 'Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?' "
"Everything is all right," she said.