For several days, I’ve sat transfixed watching the newscasts from Haiti. It’s like watching a train wreck – precisely because that is what it is. My heart aches for the people suffering the after effects of the 7.0 earthquake. Tears well up in my eyes seeing the flattened homes, lack of basic human necessities and the twisted, torn bodies of both the living and the dead. The debilitating scars of losing family and loved ones will remain even after the city is rebuilt.
An Obvious Question
There are so many questions asked after this kind of destruction. Where is God? Why did He allow this to happen? Why were some individuals spared while others were crushed? But an obvious question is how do you find joy in the face of such sorrow, death and devastation?
James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (NIV) The Message Translation takes a step further – “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” A true gift…city in ruins, hundreds of thousands dead and over 3 million people without food, water or shelter?
It sounds ludicrous to look into the eyes of a mother who lost her entire family and say, “Consider this a sheer gift.”
God versus the Earthquake
When I am overwhelmed by tragedy, it is best to look at what I believe. My God is a great God, a faithful God. Nothing is too difficult for God. He does the impossible. He can heal. He can deliver. He helps us out of hard places. He is the God that can do all things. God has already done excellent and great things. He will never leave us.
- God will walk beside you and give you a life of victory and wholeness.
- God asks you to “cast your cares on Him” daily (I Peter 5:7) and in return, He will extend deep peace.
- God will make you to “soar on the wings of eagles” (Isaiah 40:31).
- God is our support (Psalm 18:22)
- God is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)
An earthquake will not stop God’s miracles. That is why natives of Port-au-Prince joined in a chorus of worship songs the morning after the quake hit.
God is already working His miracles in those who draw closer to Him through prayer and acts of service to those in Haiti. His miracle is in the people of many nations who are working side-by-side using their lives to meet other people’s needs. He is touching the 82nd Airborne soldiers who, normally called into war zones, are now ambassadors and peacemakers.
Our human understanding makes it next to impossible to balance these things against what we see on television, which is why we need faith. God will be glorified by this. He is mightier than the earthquake.
And isn’t that where our joy truly resides?
If you would like to help with Haitian relief, consider making a donation to a reputable organization. (Red Cross, Doctors without Borders) Or please make a donation to Willow Creek Community Church’s Disaster Relief Fund. 100% of the proceeds go for disaster relief.