Government can be a blessing in a time of tragedy.

As we all send out our anxious prayers to the grief-stricken families affected by the tragic disappearance of the Malaysian airliner, I was reminded how we need to be thankful that we live in a day and age where governments can step in and help in the midst of trials.

I have a feeling that isn’t such a popular message these days. Government is popular to criticize, and not without cause. The offer a huge bulls-eye which is easy to hit. Most of the time they put the bulls-eye on themselves due to bone-headed moves and head-shaking behavior. Plus, no one likes paying taxes or having the IRS looking over your every move.

Much debate and discussion has been elicited recently about the role of government in today’s modern world. Some criticize the nanny state mentality which pushes for cradle to grave entitlements and massive economic overhaul in order to redistribute wealth. Others criticize the political right as being cold-hearted in their approach to government, espousing deregulation and business practices which pits the “good ole’ boys” rubbing elbows with government types in shady corner bars on Friday evenings.

But when tragedy strikes, we all finally get a glimpse of what government can do right, even if their steps are not mistake-proof.

Government, however funded, has the ability, know-how, time, energy and resources to step in where individuals would not be able to succeed.

Look what is happening now in the South China Sea as I write. China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have sent search and rescue teams, navy jets, and logistical teams ready to offer hope to any survivors or to react quickly to any scenarios where they can help.

Investigation teams in Malaysia and elsewhere will spend years sorting through the clues to try and determine the cause of the disappearance, trying to make sure that something like this does not happen again. The United States has dispatched FBI to the region in order to offer assistance if their help is needed. The coordination between and heart-felt sympathies of the various countries involved show us a glimpse of the purpose of government.

This is a moment to be proud of our governments and what they can do in times of need.

So as you offer up a prayer for this tragedy, add a quick sentence for those officials who are involved in managing and getting to the bottom of this crisis.

There will be plenty of time later to continue in our criticism of government. But for now, count it a blessing that we do, indeed, live under the rule of government.

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