The images of Japan that have recently streamed across our TV screens have been in stark contrast to the usual beauty and tranquility we know of rural Japan or even the precision and focus of modern, industrial Japan. And perhaps it is, in part, because of this contrast, that the stunning pictures of a Japan devastated by earthquake and tsunami have caused such shock and disbelief around the world; though how can anyone really fathom the sheer magnitude of such destruction?
Disaster creates, not only crises, but questions. Natural catastrophe, like many sicknesses and accidents, leaves us with a host of valid questions about theology, morality and the nature of God. The atheist would conclude: that's life, random and meaningless. The philosopher would suggest that, if God is God He is not good; if God is good He is not God, or such catastrophes would not occur. Others would seek to explain all suffering as a consequence of sin. In contrast, we know to trust the wisdom and sovereignty of God without making Him the author of sin. God is unchanging. He doesn't vacillate between good and evil. He is merciful and compassionate. Psalm 66 is thought to have been written during a time of national distress yet we realise this is a song of praise, not for a tragedy that occurred, but for the unseen work of God during a crisis. It clearly illustrates the dependency of man on the greatness of God during times of trouble. It has been said that God is too kind to do anything cruel..too wise to make a mistake and too deep to explain Himself. Simply put, trust God's wisdom when you fail to understand His great purposes.
So ultimately the question for all of us is, ' How do we react or respond now?' Just as the psalmist cried out to God, so too, should we pray for those in need. Pray then for those who are hurting and those that are grieving over loss of life and livelihood. Pray for those who question and wonder what is happening. Pray, too, for those who lead the recovery efforts. (Gifford- Lifeway)
OneWay Ministries has produced a wonderful Prayercast of Japan. Watch this as you prayerfully focus on this nation and the aftermath of this disaster.
Church planting and growth has been a focus for most of my ministry. I frequently lecture and speak on church planting and have been actively involved in many church plants. Under God's hand and direction, my wife, Kaye, and I planted the