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The Tragedy in Tucson

It has been my privilege to live in the great city of Tucson for the past two and one-half years. I shed tears several times over the past three weeks as I learned of the tragedy of 1-8-11, and the stories of those who were wounded and killed, as well as the stories of many heroes that day.

I was out and about enjoying time with my children on that sunny Saturday morning, when my wife texted me that congresswoman Gabby Giffords had been shot. I immediately felt a deep sense of shock and sorrow. A short while later, she texted me that the congresswoman had died, and then a short while later that she had survived.

Later, away from the children, I turned on the news, and began to absorb the enormity of what had just happened. Six precious lives were lost, my congresswoman and twelve others were wounded, and a community, a state, and a nation were shaken.

I have a precious, nine-year-old daughter (she turned ten on 1-19), and my heart grieves for another family who lost their precious, nine-year-old daughter in the senseless tragedy.

The healing has begun in our city. Today I went out for the first time since the shooting to the Safeway at Ina and Oracle, the site of the tragedy, and visited the memorial set up in front of the entrance to the store. I was greatly moved emotionally as I viewed pictures of those who were lost, and so many flowers, candles, teddy bears, and messages of hope.

It is impossible to understand why tragedies like this happen. Our hearts continue to grieve with those who have been victimized, and our prayers are with them and their families. There is hope and there is healing in Jesus Christ, and it is in times such as these that we can find hope and comfort in the Scriptures.

If you have been following along in the Bible Reading Schedule so far this year, you have recently finished reading through the book of Job, a man who suffered great tragedies. He lost his precious children, his health, and his possessions.

Yet in this book, when God answered Job out of the whirlwind, He chose not to answer the question of “Why?” God told Job, in essence, “Trust in Me.” In the end, Job persevered in his faith, though it had been shaken. God greatly blessed the life of this man after these trials.

In the New Testament, we have this marvelous promise, and I offer the words of Romans 8:28 – words of comfort, words of hope, and words of healing – to the victims and their families, to our community here in Tucson, and to the whole nation:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (NKJV)

In the end, no matter what befalls us in life, God is working all things together for our good, and for His glory! This gives us “strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.” When trials and tragedies strike, dear friend, look to Jesus, and you, too, can find His comfort, grace, and hope, knowing that He will carry you through.