Thursday, April 7, 2011

We will not be shaken

It's been quite a month. The most obvious reasons happen to be the most important and so that's what I'll stick to in a brief timeline format:

1. Mar. 11: 9M earthquake hits near Sendai and a devastating tsunami follows.

2. Mar. 24: 6.8M earthquake hits Myanmar, causing significant damage in surrounding villages

3. April 7: 7.4M earthquake hits near Sendai. This was only minutes before I wrote this note, so I'm not sure as to the damage caused by this, though a tsunami alert of 2 meters has been issued for Sendai.

I've had the unique experience of being relatively near each of these earthquakes. After the second one (which happened exactly two weeks ago during the Senior trip to Northern Thailand), I was pretty shaken up and scared. I've spent the last few weeks processing and would like to share the comforting realizations that I've come to:

God is in control. It's as simple as that. We live in a fallen, sinful world and bad things happen. Natural disasters happen, and because of them, people get hurt, lose money/possessions, loved ones, even their physical lives. The pain and sadness in the world can be overwhelming and even confusing at times, but the ultimate answer is found in God alone. He will protect us, even though our homes may crumble into the sea, or our bodies die--He will protect our souls. We were created to be in relationship with Him. God loves us and desires that relationship even as we reject it. I mean... He even sent His son to die so that we could be brought back to him. What wondrous love is that?

I believe with all my heart that this relationship with God is infinitely better than anything else in the world, because it is what we were created for, and that no matter what happens to us--no matter what injuries or misfortunes may befall us, God will preserve and protect us so that we can have that relationship with Him. Keep in mind that this protection does not necessarily guarantee a lack of physical discomfort, pain or physical death--but also keep in mind that those things are ultimately irrelevant to our souls being in relationship with God.

Though I feel this inner peace, my heart cries out for the millions of bewildered and scared people in the Miyagi prefecture whose lives have been shaken to the core in literal ways that are devastating and figurative ways that are unimaginable. People who haven't heard this Good News and who would likely not respond well to someone saying "Well, God is in control." Pray for Japan... and pray that all of us in this country who have the ability to reach out and help WILL reach out and help, and will show selfless love and sacrifice to the victims of this disaster modeled on Christ... love and sacrifice that will turn heads and cause people to say "I want to believe what they believe. I want to know more about this God who they say is in control."

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