Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts on Japan

I have never experienced some big crazy tragedy or disaster. So, when these things happen, no matter how much news coverage I watch, it is SO hard for me to connect and understand what these people are experiencing.

I was thinking about it a lot yesterday because I just really wanted to wrap my mind around it, but I couldn't. At one point, I felt guilt. Last night, I was relaxing in my comfy warm bed, watching tv shows online on my nice pretty laptop, drinking clean cold water. My son was sleeping peacefully in the room across the hall. My husband was enjoying himself in the living room eating cold pizza and playing xbox. And halfway across the world, a mother was lonely and shivering through the night, amidst the rubble of what used to be her home, wondering where her child was, if he was even alive, wondering if she would make it through the night, not sure of when her next meal would be, and facing the fear of impending nuclear disaster.

I don't even know how to feel about that. The biggest question is why? Why am I so blessed and comfortable when so many people are suffering? I quickly just stopped thinking about it because again, I just couldn't even understand. I couldn't relate.

I saw a video on YouTube of a girl who was expressing her joy about the earthquake in Japan. She explained that at the beginning of Lent, she had begun to pray with many other believers that God would open the eyes of Atheists and then just a few days after they had begun so fervently praying this prayer, God shook the country of Japan. Bless her heart, she was trying, but I think she might be a little skewed in her thinking. People are outraged about this video. As a fellow believer, I am not sure if I agree with that.

So, today, I decided to think about it again. But this time I turned to the Lord. I began searching His Word because I knew that would be the only place I could find some kind of peace. First, I turned to one of my favorite verses, James 1:2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds...."
Nope, that wasn't doing it for me. I could not sit in the comfort of my own home and say, "Consider it joy," when people were suffering so much. I'm not in the trial, so I'm having a hard time finding joy in it.

Then I remembered Job. Job 26. The chapter talks about the amazing mighty works of the Lord, "He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight."
"The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke. By his power he churned up the sea;"

And then the good part... Job 26:14
"And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?" I began to find peace in the power of our God. I was thinking about that whisper.

And then I was led to another whisper, in 1 Kings 19, when the Lord spoke to Elijah. Vs. 11-12:
"The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper."

And that is where I found peace. "..but the Lord was not in the earthquake." He is in that gentle whisper. I just picture the people of Japan, hopeless, but hearing that whisper.

I may not be able to relate or even begin to comprehend what these people are experiencing. But now I know how to pray. I pray that the Japanese (and the rest of the world) would see that "the Lord was not in the earthquake," but that He is there now. I pray that they would hear His whisper.

I think He is whispering, "I love you."

1 comment:

  1. i have been thinking more and more about the people of japan as the days pass and the emormity of the tragedy comes to light. chas came back from japan so in love with the people and the place,and i think i caught her enthusiasm back years ago. i have just been heartsick all week. thank you for the Word, and pointing me towards Him. i needed it.