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Summary: Considering the destruction of Joplin’s deadly tornado, what must we do?

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INTRO.- The devastating tornado in Joplin, MO. They are saying it was the deadliest in the history of the US in nearly 60 years. Why? Because of the many deaths (142), over 900 injured and 100 unaccounted for, and 8,000 structures damaged. At least 300 businesses and 4,000 jobs were affected by the tornado. It was an EF5 tornado and only 1 percent of all tornadoes ever reach that number with winds over 200 mph. They are so destructive that experts said they can turn a house into a missile. It was also the 8th deadliest tornado in the history of the US.

ILL.- You perhaps remember my sister and her husband Mike. He has three brothers living in Joplin. One of them suffering no damage since he lived in the north part of Joplin. The oldest brother had roof damage and lost his car to a tree that feel on it. Mike’s youngest brother, David, lost his home entirely and also suffered some cuts but his wife is in a hospital in Springfield with internal bleeding and fractured vertebrae.

ILL.- Gerald and Sally Griffin were taking care of their grandchildren while their daughter and son-in-law went out to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Clint and Bethany never made it to dinner. I talked to Sally and she told me what happened. They looked outside, heard sirens warning them of a tornado and then they all went to the bathroom in the center of the house. They felt the pressure of being lifted, heard glass breaking and all kinds of loud noises and things breaking. I asked, “What did you do?” She said, “We screamed!”

ILL.- Tina Brady is Truman Brady’s wife. She’s an RN and was working on the 7th floor of St. John’s Medical Center when that tornado hit last Sunday night. Apparently, they had a few minutes of warning because she said they were able to push the patients into the hallways. And it’s a good thing. She said if they hadn’t they would have been sucked out the windows!

Here is Tina’s words of what happened to her: As I was slammed to the floor and pinned against a wall by a hospital bed on the 7th floor and swaying building, I thought, " This is it, I am going to die in a tornado." I always wondered what I would think or feel. I guess I was relatively calm, as I was forcefully, repetitively, and loudly prayed, "GOD save us, GOD protect us!!!!!!!!!"

My patient lying in that bed began to pray with me, then the wind began to slow for a moment I thought is this the "eye of the tornado", then it started again instantly. My next chanting prayer was "Thank you JESUS!!!" thinking it is almost over and the building is still standing. During all of this my eyes were squeezed tightly together and I could feel my stomach being pelted with debris. I realized my shirt was being sucked off of me, I pulled it down then my face was being hit, I opened my eyes for a second then instantly wished I hadn’t, seeing the ceiling and wires down, and walls missing inside the building. I just thank GOD my patient and I were not seriously injured and we were able to make it to safety. My prayer now is for all the families that have lost loved one and some are still looking.

And we’ve all seen the pictures, over and over. Massive devastation, destruction and sadly, death.

PROP.- What must we do? We should do something in the midst of any tragedy.

1- We must pray

2- We must help

3- We must seek

I. WE MUST PRAY

James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.” It is natural for us to pray when we’re in trouble.

ILL.- I saw many different people interviewed in Joplin who were in the midst of that tornado and one thing they said all they did was to pray. NO WONDER. Who wouldn’t?

One young father said he covered his wife and baby and prayed, “Dear Jesus....” I am sure that many others prayed similar prayers.

I heard one man say that he thought they were going to be carried away and killed in the tornado. He prayed, “Lord, let it happen quickly and with little pain.” Of course, it didn’t happen. He and his family were not carried away and killed. The Lord spared them, but many others were taken and killed.

What do you do when you’re in trouble? YOU PRAY. That’s what these people are doing and that’s what we must do only we need to pray for them!

Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

This verse speaks of compassion. We must feel for others! We must hurt for others and if we do, how can we not pray for them?

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