Most of us have been captivated by the news that a commercial airliner was shot down over the Ukraine on July 17th, killing all 298 people on board. Of the victims, 198 were citizens of the Netherlands. We watched the news in disbelief, wondering how this act of terrorism could possibly have happened and who had done it. Those doing the research still don't know.
Then, on July 23rd, we were shown pictures of a couple of military transport planes carrying some of the bodies back to the Netherlands. That same day, my nephew in Holland sent us some still photographs of these events. There was an airplane landing; another plane sitting on the tarmac; soldiers carrying a casket out of the cargo hold; a parking area full of hearses; and a line of hearses leaving the air base, one casket in each hearse. My nephew did not make any comments, just two words: "Holland weeps."
Indeed, the people of the Netherlands are weeping, especially those who lost loved ones. It is impossible for us to comprehend that on the 17th, they said goodbye to their family members, loved ones, friends, young people, and children, happily on their way for a vacation in a faraway land. It happens every day. A few hours later, there was word that the plane that they were in was shot down — all lives lost.
During the night after I saw my nephew's pictures, I agonized over this. Even when the bodies of their loved ones are returned they still need "closure", a word which is mentioned quite often. But we also need to grieve. Those of us who have lost a loved one know that it takes time to adjust to a new situation, but we also know that the loss will be felt for the rest of our lives.
As I thought about this situation, some Scripture passages came to mind — wonderful words of comfort in times of need, for those grieving not only this terrible tragedy but also personal losses close to home.
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NKJV)
Psalm 121:1b-2 – Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (NIV)
Matthew 11:28 – Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." (NLT)
We can pray that all those who are grieving loss at this time and are surely going through the valley of the shadow of death will be comforted and will find rest indeed.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, this is one of those times when words fail us, when we ask Your Spirit to utter words that we are just not able to find. We pray for those who have lost loved ones, and we earnestly ask that You will comfort them in their deepest need. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name" (Lyrics)