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“Pray for Turkey & Syria”Categories: In the News, Midweek FR articles, prayer
Tragedies—especially natural disasters—seem to strike with some regularity across the globe. Volcanoes, landslides, tornadoes, and hurricanes all remind us how small and weak we are in the face of such forces. But even with that being the case, it is pretty rare that something brings about so much loss of life as the countries of Turkey and Syria have experienced this past week.
In the wake of a truly massive earthquake, the death toll is now at 36,000, and it continues to rise. Security camera footage and aerial surveys show the complete destruction of many apartment buildings—buildings whose collapse would surely mean the deaths of hundreds of people each. It staggers the mind to think of how many people are grieving the loss or serious injury of loved ones this week because so many lives were suddenly snuffed out.
The Christian outlook on these things ought to include several things:
- First, we’re reminded that we live in a world that is broken by sin, and the consequences of that brokenness are both enormous and very sad. We pray for the day when God’s redemption will bring about total freedom from the fear of death that looms over us.
- Second, we’re reminded that people are the same everywhere, and all need sincere compassion. The grief that we would experience under such soul-wrenching circumstances is what thousands upon thousands are experiencing in Syria and Turkey right now. We need to be willing to open our hearts to experience pain sympathetically with them, and we need to pray for them as they process and live with their grief. We would also do well to continue to pray for those in a similar region of the world whose homes continue to be devastated by war; the fighting between Russia & Ukraine continues to drag on, and there are many victims of that destruction for whom we should also pray.
- Third, we’re reminded that our lives are just mists that appear for a little while and then vanish (Jas. 4:14), and so we need to learn the lesson from all of Jesus’ examples in Matthew 25 (the virgins whose lamps ran out of oil, the men with three amounts of talents, etc). Namely, we need to be soberly aware that any day could be our last, and so we must be prepared for the Lord’s return. Maybe that’s a heavy realization to carry every day, but it’s a powerful motivator to help us do the right thing each day.
Events like last week’s earthquake should have a sobering effect on us. They should increase our consciousness of our own mortality and remind us that our daily choices matter a great deal. How will we live for Christ? How will we care about others? How will we be prepared today for his return or for our own death?
- Dan Lankford, minister