As news of the shocking and dramatic national events unfolded, I happened to hear of several pieces of good news close to home.

Someone we had been praying would receive Christ made a profession of faith in Him. A person who had been sick and in the hospital for many days got better and was able to go home. Another person who had been job hunting finally found work.

These good developments, amid the backdrop of very challenging news nationally, remind me of the famous words penned by Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Whether it is a good or terrible time in the world, you likely will never have to look far to find someone near to you who is also struggling and in need of encouragement. In times like these, Christians can and should find ways to be ambassadors of peace.

Yet sadly, we often miss opportunities to bless others because we are distracted. Or, worse, we even can make a bad situation worse by tearing people down with our words. The Epistle of James warns about our words.

With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness.  Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way” (James 3:9-10).

Let’s choose today to be wise with our words and to be alert to the seemingly smaller needs around us, even as we pray and focus on major events.

When people are disoriented and confused, we can point to Jesus Christ, the Rock and Foundation of our Faith. At a time when people are asking “What in the world is going on?” we can be the sort of people who build up with our words and conduct.