Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oklahoma's Grieving...

I didn’t know 3-year-old Ryan Hamil, yet my heart is broken. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartache and gut wrenching emotions that the Hamil family is experiencing as they grieve the loss of not one, but two sons. Both were killed in the deadly tornado that ripped through Piedmont, Oklahoma on Tuesday.

My stomach has been in knots since I heard that Ryan was missing. People from all across Oklahoma, the country and the world have been praying that Ryan would be found safe. We have begged and pleaded with God for a miracle, but this morning Ryan’s body was found. I was devastated that he didn’t survive, but relieved that he had at least been found. Praying that it would bring some sort of closure for his family.

I had to give devotion at work this morning and the title was “Be a Friend to those in Need.” Oklahomans are facing a major time of need right now. Families have lost loved ones and homes. Just moments before I led devotion, I saw reports speculating that Ryan’s body had been found. I stood before the women at the Mission in tears, heartbroken over the loss of this small boy that stole the hearts of so many. As of today, more than 36,000 people have “liked” the facebook page that was created for Ryan and his family. The wall has been flooded with prayer after prayer for the Hamil family.

You feel so helpless in the midst of disasters. When you want to help, but aren’t sure what you can do, you can always pray. When the world is crashing down around you and destruction is all you see, there is still hope. His name is Jesus! Despite the sadness and the loss, He is still sovereign. Oklahoma (and other parts of the country and world) was reminded this week, through a 3-year-old boy, that prayer is a powerful thing.

God tells us in Galatians 6:2 that we are to “carry one another’s burdens.” There are thousands of people lifting up the Hamil family in prayer; thousands of people grieving the loss of a little boy whom most had never met. Let’s continue to lift this family up in prayer. They have lost so much and they will need our prayers now more than ever – it’s the one thing we CAN do.

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