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When Tragedy Strikes

Today’s Reflection

WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES, when trouble comes, when life disappoints us, we stand at the crossroads between hope and despair, torn and hurting.

Despair cements us in the present. Hope sends us dancing around dark corners trusting in a tomorrow we cannot see because of the multiple pasts of life which we cannot forget.
– Joan D. Chittister in Hope: It’s More Than Wishful Thinking

– Amy Lyles Wilson
Hope: It’s More Than Wishful Thinking

From “A New Understanding,” page 45 in Hope: It’s More Than Wishful Thinking . Compiled and edited by Amy Lyles Wilson. Copyright © 2010 by Fresh Air Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you felt hope in a time of tragedy? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

Exodus 14:30, NRSV

This Week: pray for those affected by natural disasters. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Catherine of Genoa September 15).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Louise September 12, 2017, 2:19 am

    I thank God everyday for his presence in my life. Tragedy is inevitable in everyone’s life. Some people have more tragedy than others and I believe that God helps us by bringing tragedy into our life. There is a reason for all suffering and tragedy. I did not always realize this in my life but now I do because God is always there to bring me hope…He guides me and shows me the way. I pray for all that continue to suffer from the horrific weather. Please take comfort in God and know that he is beside you. I pray for all that suffer and struggle here at the UR. I pray for all that struggle mentally, physically, and spiritually. God please help them and help me to be the best version of myself that I can be today.

  • Lou September 12, 2017, 2:53 am

    When I read Jeremiah 29:11. I know that the Lord will never forsake me or leave me. I know that He has plans for me that I do not understand and that I must wait and trust in Him. When I read His word – I see those promises- I know that He loves me and cares about me- that He came to save us all- and I have hope…
    Healing is slow going – up and down. It worries me when I have a day like yesterday with more pain. But I hope that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and I hope that i will eventually have complete restoration of my abilities.
    I echo Louise and others in praying for all of those recovering from the devastating weather. Prayers for all of those who come here looking for hope and peace.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 12, 2017, 7:19 am

      Lou, im keeping youin prayer.

      We may not know why we are going through pain or tragedy but the presence of God is with us to help us go through these difficult times.

      Our hope is in God. May our faith increase and may we continue to trust in God!

  • Jill September 12, 2017, 3:25 am

    I am grateful to say that I have never experienced tragedy in my life. Have there been difficult times, losses, setbacks – of course…those are givens in life. But, as of yet, nothing tragic. Thank You, Father.
    Saturday evening, I spent some time with my parents – this is the first opportunity I had to speak with them face to face since my diagnosis. I have a strong sense that I need to assure them that I am not suffering, nor downcast, that I am going to make it through this with God’s help. I began by saying God intended for this to happen at this point in my life. My mom began shaking her head and said – no, I don’t know Jill. I said – mom, we can’t just accept the sunshine and rainbows from God, we have to accept the storms as well. I continued – we must trust Him, what is in His Will. Yes, Paul prayed that his “weakness” be removed from him…three times, very fervently I would imagine. Dad jumped in and said that David cried out to God so often in the Psalms. I said, yes – cry out that God will be near me through this, that I will stay near Him. That His Will will continue to be done in my life. I feel a strong burden to have my parents know that I will not be overcome by this. Yet, again, my dad will have to use all his Spirit provided power to help my mom not be overcome by this. Keep pumping that positive talk.
    Yesterday was a super busy day at school, but a good day. Had an appointment with my dermatologist after school and received a good report. So thankful. Last evening was our first meeting of my Bible study group from the past 3 years. Two new ladies and 3 of us returning. A bit smaller of a group – in some ways I think this is a good thing. My friend’s father’s house on Sanibel Island came through unscathed – a huge praise. Only power was lost. And my former colleague’s place also was not damaged and even retained power.
    Lou – I pray that your pain lessens today.

  • Betsy September 12, 2017, 6:58 am

    There is tragedy being experienced by our neighbors to the south throughout the state of FL. Praying that they feel God’s healing hand. I have not had any devastating tragedy in my life; other than loss of loved ones and sickness.
    Lou, you referenced one of my favorite Bible passages, Jer 29:11. He does have our plans in His sight, supporting and carrying us forward. Praying for your healing, Friend.

  • Julie September 12, 2017, 8:00 am

    I have a wooden knick knack that has HOPE in large letters and Jer 29:11 underneath. I try to live with Hope in my heart continually. But, as I am human, some days a sense of hope escapes me.
    Lou, I am and have been, praying fervently for you. I know how frustrating the slow progress of physical healing caan be and I pray that you can keep the end in your mind. I am confident that you willhaave eventual relief from the intense pain. I know from personal expeerence that relief from the worst pain is the best we will achieve. But this is sufficient.
    Prayers for Florida, Texas, and all who have been impacted by the many natural disasters of late.
    Prayers and blessngs for all my UR friends.

  • Connie September 12, 2017, 10:57 am

    I do have hope and am “dancing around corners”.(Julie, I have a stone by my front door with a sparkly butterfly on it and the word “HOPE” below the butterfly).
    Prayers for Lou and Jill. They need relief from their physical pain to be able to fully function in their lives. It is hard
    enough when we are 100%. Please grant this request, Lord. Amen

  • Marcy September 12, 2017, 12:16 pm

    I am a surviver of a crime, which in effect led me into a bad marriage. We have to keep in mind that there are things that have happened to people that scar them, many times effecting their mental health. This is not to say we cannot overcome these trials. I most emphatically express that having my faith in God and hope from the Spirit that has never left me, has brought me through much. I’m thankful I learned about Jesus as a child, so that even though events had distanced me from God, I never stopped believing in Him. Even through I’ve been judged by others for being weak, they haven’t walked in my shoes. And I remember just that…they don’t know my experience and the strength from God, that has seen me through. Then I’m encouraged to reach out again. Thank You, God!
    Julie, I have a T-shirt with Jeremiah 29:11 on it and a ring with the same scripture on it that kind of twists, the script being on bothh inside and outside of the ring. It’s hard to describe. I wear it every day. It’s such an uplifting verse, isnt it? Praying for your husband to get good advice and follow it and that God leads the way.
    Jill, I’ve been reading Psalms 31 every day now, thank you. I know you will have success in your treatment, surrounded as you are by your own faith, our prayers for you here and your family’s faith. Sounds like your Dad will be able to calm your Mom with that same faith.
    Also fervently praying for all here dealing with physical, sometimes debilitating, pain. We know we can be empowered by God in the healing He provides, even when we’re left living with some amount of pain.
    Always prayers for survivors, responders and everyday people dealing with/helping with the hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and earthquake disasters and those who lost their lives. Thankful for less severity and damage than expected in some areas. Hopeful water and power get turned back on as soon as possible.
    Grateful to all here for their prayers and my prayers for all of you in return in the UR family and beyond. Thank you, God, for all Your blessings, and there are many!

    • Julie September 12, 2017, 2:40 pm

      Marcy, missed you yesterday. So glad to hear from you. Keep on Hoping and relying on God. Both will see you through. God bless you and strengthen you.

      • Marcy September 12, 2017, 3:26 pm

        Thank you so much, Julie, for your caring words. I’m in much need of them lately! God bless you for your gift of encouragement and loving others!

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