Holland Weeps

July 25, 2014
by Joel Jongkind

Most of us have been captivated by the news that a commercial airliner was shot down over the Ukraine on July 17th, killing all 298 people on board. Of the victims, 198 were citizens of the Netherlands. We watched the news in disbelief, wondering how this act of terrorism could possibly have happened and who had done it. Those doing the research still don't know.

Then, on July 23rd, we were shown pictures of a couple of military transport planes carrying some of the bodies back to the Netherlands. That same day, my nephew in Holland sent us some still photographs of these events. There was an airplane landing; another plane sitting on the tarmac; soldiers carrying a casket out of the cargo hold; a parking area full of hearses; and a line of hearses leaving the air base, one casket in each hearse. My nephew did not make any comments, just two words: "Holland weeps."

Indeed, the people of the Netherlands are weeping, especially those who lost loved ones. It is impossible for us to comprehend that on the 17th, they said goodbye to their family members, loved ones, friends, young people, and children, happily on their way for a vacation in a faraway land. It happens every day. A few hours later, there was word that the plane that they were in was shot down — all lives lost.

During the night after I saw my nephew's pictures, I agonized over this. Even when the bodies of their loved ones are returned they still need "closure", a word which is mentioned quite often. But we also need to grieve. Those of us who have lost a loved one know that it takes time to adjust to a new situation, but we also know that the loss will be felt for the rest of our lives.

As I thought about this situation, some Scripture passages came to mind — wonderful words of comfort in times of need, for those grieving not only this terrible tragedy but also personal losses close to home.

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NKJV)

Psalm 121:1b-2 – Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (NIV)

Matthew 11:28 – Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." (NLT)

We can pray that all those who are grieving loss at this time and are surely going through the valley of the shadow of death will be comforted and will find rest indeed.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, this is one of those times when words fail us, when we ask Your Spirit to utter words that we are just not able to find. We pray for those who have lost loved ones, and we earnestly ask that You will comfort them in their deepest need. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Thank you Joel.


    Good word Joel. Ironically.


    Thanks for your reflections today.
    (Ontario)


    Well said, Joel Jongkind.
    Blessings to you and yours.


    Thank you for putting into words the thoughts of many ! The words of scripture are so timely and helpful when trying to understand a tragedy beyond comprehension. Many have joined the country of Holland in their weeping! Peace.


    That sure was an awful thing. And then yesterday I attended yet another funeral at church; we have lost so many people in recent years and not all of them old, this man was in his 60’s. It is so hard. But I love the verses you mentioned. I recently memorized Psalm 46 and it is such comfort.
    Thanks!


    On 100 Huntley st a mother who lost a daughter in violent circumstances said closure is a strange word as even when her daughter’s body was found there was no closure but time helps you to cope but she has been going over since to help people in traumatic circumstances. She has not lost her faith.
    (ON)


    Hi Joel:
    I should have known that you were the author of this deeply moving devotion. As I was reading through it I knew I had to forward it to a friend who had lost a loved one and whom I had talked to recently. She was talking about closure and how it bothered her that she never would have closure because she always wanted to remember her loved one. You said it better than I could. I will now forward your devotional to her.
    Thank you.


    Thank you for these words:
    ” But we also need to grieve. Those of us who have lost a loved one know that it takes time to adjust to a new situation, but we also know that the loss will be felt for the rest of our lives.”
    These mean more to me than the word “closure.” I want my loved one to be there for the rest of my life – if only in memory.


    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for a heart-felt and comforting devotional.
    I must ask though, “Why is a holiday company using a commercial airline taking people into a country of the world in a time of its political unrest.”
    Why have the people dared to go to Ukraine right now?
    I pray for the people suffering from the unexpected death of loved ones. May they “prepare to meet their God.”


    A huge ‘AMEN’ to that Joel. Watching the despair of families in Holland is heart-wrenching. Such an unbelievable tragedy. I come alongside them in prayer and implore God to give them a comfort, strength and peace beyond our understanding. It is the only way I can help them in their despair.
    I have family in Holland but thankfully they were not affected by this personally.
    God’s blessings,
    (ON.)


    Amen Joel, Amen. You have described so fully this one hateful deed, the shooting down of a commercial jet liner filled with happy Innocents. It came to my mind yesterday, “Could that be the beginning of worldwide attacks to interrupt international travel?” This hateful deed, I believe, could be continued by a religious-political sect, with no qualms, proceeding henceforth to do the same to promote their devil-worshipping being who some might describe as a vengeful paranormal overlord.
    Again I return to the world of humans who now weep as we join with the peaceful Netherlands. I fear for the future. May God who we have come to know and love protect us all. Amen
    (ON)


    Thank you so very much for this message. AMEN.
    God bless you and your family.


    Thank you, Joel, for taking time to give me this information.


    Dear Joel;
    Amen to your prayer. I believe that the entire world weeps with Holland as well.


    Thank you Joel. Since writing this, two more planes have gone down… one in Thailand, and one in the desert. There are no words. Only prayers for comfort for the souls and the families… and most of all… for peace.

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