Haiti Bible Institute, February 17, 2015

Today was very sober at our hotel. A tragic accident in Haiti's version of the Fat Tuesday (Carnival) parade left at least 18 people dead or wounded. A parade float apparently came in contact with a power line, which fell
fell to the ground, electrocuting some and sending the crowd into a panic that left some trampled.

Oddly enough, I am teaching Biblical Counseling 201, in which we covered the role pastors play in crisis counseling people who are suffering the saddest effects of life in a sin-cursed world. 

Here are some of the notes we covered regarding the way we respond to tragedy (which Haitians know so well after the events here January 12, 2010):

After looking around the globe, you need in times like these to consider the smaller-scale crises that are going to touch you. They will come. If you have not experienced great loss in your life, the primary reason is that you have not lived long enough. What should you do when tragedy like this strikes your life?
1.     Ask “Why?” The psalmists did so in the context of worship (Psalm 10, 22, 42, 43, 44, 74, 80, 88). This is not the same as assigning blame to God. That is blasphemy. Asking why, like Jesus did on the cross, can be a confession of weakness and submission to the Father’s decrees.
2.     Mourn. This is not a waste of time. Jesus said this is a blessed activity (Matthew 5:4). Only mourners can know the sweetness of the God of all comfort.
3.     Rehearse the attributes of God. You should do this before the next tragedy strikes.
·       Rest in the knowledge that He rules.
·       Delight in the knowledge that He is good.
·       Give thanks in the knowledge that He is merciful.

4.     Get back to work. God’s mission is all about Him, not about you. Elijah had to learn after a personal crisis that the “still, small voice” was not telling him anything new (1 Kings 19:13-16). It told him to finish the course.

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