Tragedy plays no favorites does it? It preys upon all of us, and it can happen anywhere at any time. If it is not us, it is someone we know. How we handle a tragedy that might happen to us is one thing, but how we handle it when it happens to someone else is a whole different story. Many people don’t know how to deal with tragedy when it happens to someone they know. They are so afraid that they might do something wrong, they simply do nothing. What should be the Christian’s response to tragedy? Don’t we have a role to play in offing them comfort? Paul said that we are to comfort those with comfort with which we ourselves have received from God. Job was a man who had tragedy hit like the world had never seen. He lost his entire wealth, his sons and his daughters, and lost his health. When his three friends came to visit to offer their sympathy, the Bible said that they didn’t even recognize him. They all three tore their clothes, placed dust on their heads, and sat with him for seven days without saying a word. Could you imagine four people sitting in a room together for seven days and no one ever speaking? There are times when we can say the wrong things. In fact, it is only after Job’s three friends open their mouths that he referred to them as “Miserable comforters” (Job 16. 2). Sometimes the best way to comfort those who need it is just by simply being there for them.
Today, find someone you know or know about who has recently had to deal with tragedy. It shouldn’t be too hard with your local newspaper or social media. Go and visit them, call them, or simply mail them a card and let them know that you have prayed. By showing them that you care, you are “comforting them, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”. (2 Corinthians 1.4)