Shock: When Your World Collapses How to Get Through What You're Going Through September 19, 2021
October 29, 1929… "Black Tuesday" hit Wall Street as investors traded some 16 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors. Overnight, many people lost their businesses and their life savings. The economic impact created shockwaves around the world.
December 7, 1941… 7:48 AM Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor. A surprise attack was launched by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft in two waves, from six aircraft carriers. Of the eight U.S. Navy battleships present, all were damaged, four sank. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 more were wounded. We were suddenly a nation at war.
January 28, 1986… Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Space Shuttle Challenger prepared for launch. It was the twenty-fifth Space Shuttle flight; the tenth for Challenger. Seventy-three seconds into its flight, the Challenger broke apart in a shocking explosion killing all seven crew members aboard. A stunned nation watched in horror.
September 11, 2001... Nineteen militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; a third hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and because of courageous passengers who thwarted the plans of their hijackers, the fourth plane intended for a target in Washington D.C., crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed that day. It was the deadliest attack on American soil in history.
All of these events were catalysts for shock that impacted our nation and even the world. On a smaller scale, each of us has our own experiences with loss and grief that have sent us into shock… your teenager has been arrested; a routine check-up results in an unexpected diagnosis; the spouse who promised to love and be faithful had an affair; the brother you love, is taken from this world with no warning; a son off on a day hike is lost and doesn’t come home as expected, or you’re suddenly fired from your dream job. And in those moments, as you struggle to catch your breath, all you feel is numb. You are in shock.
Last week we launched a new sermon series called How to Get Through What You’re Going Through. This week, we’ll be unpacking the first phase of ‘getting through’ – shock.
Life is uncertain. Learning how to navigate the uncertainties of life and process the losses we all experience in a healthy way, is essential to our emotional and spiritual growth.
The apostle Paul in his second letter to the church at Corinth writes, “(God) comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” Everywhere we turn, there are people in need of comfort. Perhaps you are in need of comfort right now. Or maybe, you need to know how to be a comfort to someone else.
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