Last night I got one of those dreaded calls. A sixty-one year old man who attends Memorial became despondent over a property-line dispute. He shot three of his neighbors and then himself. All four died. His daughter, dear to this church, and is in my small group. We just baptized her mother last month.
Upon receiving the call, I drove to the church to catch any elders who might be there. During the short drive over I found myself praying. It was an unscheduled time for God and me to meet, once again. And, here's what we discussed.
I thanked Him. I thanked Him for being God and thanked Him that we weren't. I thanked Him for understanding when our frail minds couldn't grasp the English words we were just now hearing. I thanked Him for His glory, His beauty, His quickness, His patience and long-suffering. I let Him know that in the center of devastating news that He remains the Beauty of the World. I thanked Him for the successful work He and Jesus and the Spirit did at the cross and through the grave.
As I continued to praise Him, I asked Him if he would develop this tragedy as a backdrop for the diamond-beauty of faith to shine ever so brightly in our lives.
When news hits us so starkly it feels that someone has darted off with our oxygen tank, it is always a right thing to praise the Living God for His extreme loveliness and presence....Phil. 4:4-9.
That's one thing we can do.