How Do You Pray About a Tsunami?28.03.11
Aired on March 28, 2011
Narration by Raffy Santos
How Do You Pray About a Tsunami?
You have probably seen videos of the disaster in Japan – not only the devastation caused by the earthquake, but also pictures of the tsunami – a wall of water racing across the landscape, swallowing everything in its path. And now the news is full of doomsday messages about nuclear radiation. Does Scripture have something to say in such situations? It does.
Firstly, God is at their center. “Nature” is a euphemism – God is the reality. Nature does not control the movement of tectonic plates, the displacement of billions of tons of sea water. But God does. Consider Isaiah 40: 23-24,
“He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.”
Does the thought of God at the center of disaster make us uncomfortable? It should. Though we can have an intimate friend in Christ, the Godhead is infinitely more than this. He is also majestic, unfathomable—the God of tsunamis and earthquakes. This is something we need to be reminded of. Frequently.
Secondly, the right posture for us to take is one of humility. We are frail creatures, destined for death from Day One. In our pride, we easily forget how fragile and dependent we are. Scripture rebukes: “…you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”(James 1:14)
Thirdly, such events should bring to our minds the reality of our sin and our need to repent of the selfish ways in which we have abused the environment, which is God’s creation. There is a powerful metaphor in the image of the tsunami racing across the landscape, growing in destructive strength with the engulfment of yet more cars and buildings. Our greed and covetousness are doing greater damage—both to people, and the Creation that God has placed in our care. The materialistic economic systems we have built are destroying us, more slowly, but just as effectively as a tsunami wave. Without question, we are to heed Jesus’ command to “go and sin no more”. As a global society, how can we best do this?
Finally, we remember that even in this tragedy there is hope for our God is full of compassion. Lamentations 3:19-24 has this to say to us,
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”
To this end, tragedies become victories for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. God has given us…Christ. Let us approach Him in repentance and throw ourselves upon his mercy and love.
This editorial is written by Ed Brown. Ed Brown is the Executive Director of Care for Creation -a Christian environmental organization based in the USA.