By Carla Adair Hendricks
Last week in my personal blog "Deep Waters", I blogged about the Connecticut school shooting and what we as average citizens can do.
Today, I feel led to discuss what the Church can do in the midst of this national tragedy and those in the future that are sure to come.
It's been said many times before, but prayer should be our first, second and third response to tragedy. Whether we're watching the news about Superstorm Sandy or about twenty young lives being gunned down in their elementary school, WE MUST PRAY.
Yet we should also have the proper perspective on prayer. Prayer is not a passive response to difficulties. Prayer is active, offensive and powerful. James 5:16 says "The effective prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
Yesterday in my church, Mosaic Conway, my pastor-husband closed service with a prayer for the community of Newtown, Connecticut. We prayed for the families of the victims (including the shooter's family), we prayed for the hearts of the children who witness such heinous actions, and we prayed for the rebuilding of this hurting community.
When I've suffered my own personal tragedies, like suffering two miscarriages in one year, I have asked God why. "Why me, Lord?"
A decade later God still hasn't answered that question.
But He did show me more of Himself -- when I opened my heart to see. He did show me that He is still good, still loving, still gracious and merciful. He showed me that even though He had allowed some pretty horrible things in my life, He was still God.
As horrible as the senseless crime in Newtown might be, God is still loving and He is still good. As much as my heart breaks for the Mamas of Newtown, I must cling to Him today and every day.
Remember the Brevity of Life
James 4:14 reminds us how brief our lives really are. "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
Our lives are short, and as church leaders we must encourage ourselves and our fellow church members to not forget this. We should live each day recognizing the possibility that it could be our last.
Some questions to ask ourselves and others:
If this were your last day on earth, what would you do differently? Who would you spend time with or reach out to? What would you take a risk on? To whom would you say "I love you"? Who would you need to forgive?
Let's encourage others around us to pray, seek God and remember that tomorrow is not promised. Just think: how would our world change if we all did those three things today and every day?
Carla Adair Hendricks is a pastor's wife (since 2001), a Mama to four beautiful, rambunctious children, an adoption/foster care advocate, a writer, a lover of current events and public policy and a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. (Definitely not in that order!) She currently resides in Conway, Arkansas, but also calls Baltimore, Maryland and Franklin, Tennessee home. She founded "A Pastor's Wife's Garden" to encourage and uplift ministry wives around the globe, but has been pleasantly surprised over the blessing this blog has been to women from all walks of life. Visit her personal blog, "Deep Waters" here, follow her on Twitter @carlaahendricks and join Carla and other ministry wives every Monday right here at "A Pastor's Wife's Garden" for weekly encouragement.