Flooding, resulting from torrential rains, brought Accra to its knees last Wednesday night, with unimaginable loss of lives and destruction of properties. By press time yesterday, the death toll had hit a staggering 107.Seventy-six of the victims were killed at a fuel station that exploded in the midst of the rains, while many others who suffered serious burns were taken to major hospitals in the city.1Also, “President John Mahama has declared three days of national mourning of some 200 citizens who lost their lives in an explosion and deadly floods in the capital, Accra."2 The presidential candidate of the opposition NPP is also reported to have said: “It is a tragedy, a major tragedy for Accra. It is a dark moment in the history of our city”3
These media reports presents us with an imagery (I hope it does) of the wreckage that "brought Accra to its knees". The day after the floods, as will be expected, and rightly so, the electronic media’s agenda was driven by the incident. During one of the radio phone in sessions, a caller, who phoning in to express his grief, queried the host in response to his (host’s pleasantries) "What is good about the morning?"
“What is good about the morning?” That startled me! The caller has life and he is asking what's good about the morning?
Truth be told. No matter how despondent our situation; being alive is enough reason to give thanks to God. Is today, despite the ghastly aftermath of the rains, the day the Lord has made? Then Scripture says, "Rejoice in it". Are you faced with an insurmountable situation? Rejoice. Rejoicing in hard times is tough. Nonetheless, Scripture says that is what we must do: "Rejoice".
The Apostles reiterated these truths in their epistles.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(1 Thes. 5:16-18).
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.(Phil 4:4).
"Rejoice…In all things give thanks...count it all joy". Are these not mere placebos and denials? Doesn't Scripture tell us there is a time for everything, including a time for mourning (Eccl 3:4). Certainly, as humans, we must grieve when it hurts. However, if Scripture tells us to "Rejoice", we must pay attention and obey.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,(James 1:2).
As Christians, to rejoice in difficult times is not escapism or living in denial. It means grieving as people who have hope. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope”(1 Thes. 4:13). All humans grieve. But some grieve with hope and others grieve without hope. The latter live their lives for the here and now. They have no hopes of a life hereafter. The believer however knows that, the suffering of this present time cannot be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us. We also know that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. We also know that, one day, we will spend eternity in the glorious presence of our King and Saviour where there will be no tears or pains.
These and many promises of the Bible give us hope even when we are grieving. It is good to often remind ourselves of the hope that is stored up for us in Christ Jesus. We must not become short sighted and forget that being alive is in itself a blessing. Every day is another opportunity to ravish in God’s unceasing steadfast love and mercy. His love and mercy renewed everyday. In the grave, no one can praise God.
If you are alive today, Praise the Lord! And to those who lost loved ones and relatives, my sincere condolences.
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,Count your many blessings, name them one by one,And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.4Notes