My heart breaks.
It actually hurts.
I can actually feel it pumping harder when I think of what is going on there.
There but for the grace of God go I…
How can we not be totally horrified by the catastrophe in Japan? An earthquake measuring 9.0, followed by a Tsunami 30 feet high, causing a nuclear disaster. How easy it is for us to sit in our comfy chair, sipping a latte, and watching the events unfold on TV or the Internet. It is surreal for most us, like watching the latest end of days movie from Hollywood.
But this one is real.
Real people are dying. Real people are hungry. Real people are homeless. Real people are facing possible contamination from radiation.
Why does He allow this to happen? Surely no God who loves His children would allow such a horrific event to occur. I can imagine many in Japan right now, doubting His existence, or actually being angry with Him. And I can understand them. Mind you, less than 1% of Japanese are Christian, but regardless of their beliefs, an event like this can surely make one question the cause, the reason for it all.
“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.” –Isaiah 45:7
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16
I have been trying to read more of the Bible, to try to get a grasp on events like these. These two passages stand out to me. I believe there are some things we should be reminded of as Christians. For one, we are not going to understand everything that happens in this world. God is our creator, and as the creator, he creates but also sometimes destroys. But his plan for us is always perfect, and goes well beyond this life.
Part of our sin and the affect of living in a fallen world is that the world is slowly decaying. So are we. We are only in this world for a blip of time. This world will one day go away. A calamity like this should serve to remind us how valuable life is, and also how fragile. What we do every day God has granted us matters. Every time we interact with this world, we get a chance to make a difference . We should never waste that opportunity.
As difficult as it is to understand, everything happens for a reason. Is it possible God allows a disaster to occur to teach us something? Is it possible God sees something in our world that breaks his heart? I can tell you that in my personal life, God has used trial and tribulation to teach me, to help me understand what is important, and to understand my role in this world. I feel closer to Him today because of it.
We are taught to be in this world, but not of it. A calamity like this should remind us that the material possessions of this world are not all that important, since they can be taken away in a heartbeat. Even more important than our material possessions, our very earthly life is but a temporary state. One day, we will all stand in front of our creator. What will we have to say for our time on earth? Who among us believes that we have plenty of time to answer that question? How many people in Japan waited? Are you waiting today? Maybe this great disaster will help us understand that surrendering our lives to God is not something to leave for tomorrow.
My hope is that from this great disaster, comes salvation. It is said that the angels in heaven rejoice every time one of us finds salvation. Wouldn’t it be something if the multitude of people watching the news reports realized that there had to be something beyond the struggles of this world? What if we decided that we were going to stop running from God? What if we decided that we were going to stop idolizing material possessions? What if we decided that we were going to stop following men, and start following Jesus?
I will pray for the victims in Japan, as well as for the souls of those that were lost.
But just as important, I will pray for the souls of those of us who survived, and that we are able to understand God’s path for us.
What will you pray for?