Devotional: August 6, 2020
God’s the one who rebuilds Jerusalem,
who regathers Israel’s scattered exiles.
He heals the heartbroken
and bandages their wounds.
Psalm 137: 2-3
The images and video of the explosion on Beirut, Lebanon are shocking and terrible. So many lives lost. So many people injured! It is hard for us to wrap our minds around such instantaneous destruction of so many innocent lives.
When we contemplate tragedies such as this, it is natural to seek comfort. There will be so much physical and emotional healing necessary in order to move on. One can’t even imagine the road ahead for so many. Although some in that region are not of the Christian faith, that should never be a stumbling block for us when it comes to lifting them up in our prayers. In fact, this should be an encouragement even more so for those who need to hear the message of the gospel. Perhaps some will begin to find the Lord as a way to eternal healing as well. We know that Christ is the great healer and comforter. He doesn’t hesitate to bandage the wounds of our bodies and our souls.
Our Lord Jesus echoed this sentiment in the Beatitudes, or Blessings, at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount, where he said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Friends who are familiar with Lebanon tell me that this tragedy in Lebanon is doubly sad because of all the challenges which the country was facing before this startling explosion.
Such events leave a lasting impact. I still remember our valley reeling from an explosion in the railyard on August 6th, 1974, exactly forty-six years ago. Although I was on vacation with my family at the time, it was shocking to read the stories through the Associated Press, and to see some of the damage when we returned home. It was truly a miracle that there were only two deaths associated with that disaster.
My pastor friend Bob Rognlien, with whom Jeana and I traveled to the Holy Land a couple of years ago, had this to say about the explosion:
“Our hearts are breaking and our prayers are rising for the brave and battered people of Beirut. Pam and I had a ministry trip to Lebanon last year and fell in love with the people and this beautiful country that has been through so much. They were already facing food and power shortages on top of dealing with the Coronavirus and a corrupt government and now this. In addition to the tragic loss of life and homes, they also lost the national grain supply which was stored in adjacent silos. Lord have mercy on your children in Lebanon!”
May God heal the hearts of all who weep for Lebanon…
God of all healing,
We lift before you the people of Lebanon, and all of those who are hurting and grieving. Bless them. Comfort them. Come alongside them, and let them know that they are not alone. We pray for healing, restoration, and renewal, in the name of Your son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.