Japan Disaster - Looking Beyond the Ruins

Watching and Waiting

Every day, as I watched news unfolding before me from the various international TV networks, I am quickly reminded by this verse from the Bible, "For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we Believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children..." (Romans 8:22-23 NLT).

I believe that I am not alone in this, but that many in the world feel the same way. Like others, I long to understand a little about the meaning and significance of all these events. My heart cries out to God to help us learn more of His ways, no matter how ugly and disastrous everything looks from the outside.

For we, who are Believers in Jesus Christ, believe this promise, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them" (Romans 8:28 NLT).

Therefore, please allow me to share these impressions that I have received, and may these words brings encouragement and confirmation to all of you who will read this. "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NIV).

The Bible is full of symbols and parables which God used to fulfill His prophecies and to teach us about God's Kingdom principle. So today, He continues to use events unfolding before us to teach us valuable lessons and especially to remind us about His character and nature.

Beware of the Modern Tower of Babel

Through the centuries, the increase in knowledge, research and technology has created many innovations and discoveries that allow humans to have power to become "like God" in what they can accomplish and do. These have become our modern tower of Babel.

Man accomplishes many things in his own strength, ability and knowledge that, in the end, slowly and maybe even unknowingly, make God seem smaller in the sight of men. What we saw unfolding before us (calamity from the earthquake and tsunami) reminded us WHO IS IN CONTROL OF THE EARTH. That no matter what the world has accomplished it is nothing compared to the MIGHT and AWE WHICH BELONGS ONLY TO GOD.

A week before these events, my Bible reading was on Job and somehow the Lord led me to focus on His conversation with Job from chapters 38 to 41. There, God had challenged Job, and as I was meditating on these verses, I felt Him also challenging me to focus on Him no matter how advanced the world becomes. This verse struck in my heart. "...everything under Heaven is Mine" (Job 41:11 NLT).

Watching the videos and pictures unfolding on TV, strongly confirmed this truth to us. We have to stand in AWE OF THE MIGHT AND POWER OF GOD. Hallelujah! OUR GOD REIGNS AND THE WHOLE EARTH INDEED BELONGS TO HIM, so His message to us, His children, in the midst of this is to "BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD" (Psalm 46:10 NIV).

Don't Focus on the "Why" But Instead Ask "What"

Focusing on the questions "why" at this time will tend to lead us to dwell in guilt or wrong judgment. We might end up like the friends of Job and Job himself who engaged in endless debate about the guilt of Job and Job's desire to justify himself before God. This will not help us at all.

These verses were brought up to me as God's message for this situation, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law" (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV).

This lead me to the story about the healing of the man born blind and Jesus' answer to His disciples question "Rabbi," His disciples asked Him, "why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?"

"It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him" (John 9:1-3 NLT).

So today Jesus is also telling us not to focus on, "Why are all of these things happening?" which makes us spend our time and energy looking for answers that focus on us. Rather, let's look outward and seek ways to help others and ask God, "What do You want each of us to do?"

"Big Things Come from Small Beginnings"

Due to the magnitude of the work, sometimes we feel helpless about our smallness and wonder what we can do to help. God brought to my mind this verse, "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoiced to see the work begin..." (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)

I have this favorite expression, "Big things come from small beginnings." Somehow this was the message Abba Father kept impressing to me. That no matter how small or insignificant (we think) the work He is asking us to do now, we must not calculate the value or effect of these in the measurement of the world. For only He who sees the big picture knows the real value and meaning of our obedience to His leading.

What is important to God is OUR OBEDIENCE. We are like a beautiful tapestry that God is weaving and each of us is a thread in His hand. Each of us has our place in that tapestry. Even the thread by itself may look insignificant, but when weaved by God, it becomes part of a beautiful piece. As His children, we must seek to obey Him no matter what He assigns for us to do.

Today PRAISE is Our Key to Victory

Abba Father is reminding us that we must not feel hopeless under any circumstances. When we feel we can do nothing, we must remember the most powerful weapon that He has entrusted to us: the POWER OF PRAISE.

The power of praise turns raging rivers into dry land, the power of praise brought down the walls of Jericho, and the power of praise resulted in a mighty victory of Jehoshaphat's army (see Joshua 3:14-17, 6:6-12, 2 Chronicles 20).

Today, when we don't know what to do or how to pray, WE CAN PRAISE GOD FOR WHO HE IS, LET US DECLARE THE MIGHT OF HIS CHARACTER, HIS LOVE, HIS COMPASSION, HIS POWER, HIS GLORY. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us groan from within.

The combined power of praises coming from the people of God will bring down all the hindrances caused by our spiritual enemy, by human greed, or even our sins.

Let us remind ourselves today again about this promise, "Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT).

Our Prayer:

Abba Father, all these devastations are a reminder for us to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS. Forgive us for not trusting You enough, and allowing fear and unbelief to creep into our hearts. Holy Spirit, once more come to our aid. Help us in our prayers and teach us how we are to act and move so that we can be a part of the great restorative works that will be happening soon. Thank You for reminding us again that You are in complete control.

Help us to learn from the dedication, obedience, sacrifices, unity and calmness that the Japanese people have exhibited in the midst of destruction. Fill us with the fruits of the Holy Spirit so that we will become light to the world, reflecting Your true nature and character through us. Abba Father, take Your place now in our hearts and in the world. Amen.

Ching Co
Cebu City, Philippines