In Cuddalore India Venkatesh clung to the dead body of his son crying out "My son, my King". Indonesian farmer Yusya Yusman knowing that his search for his two children was in vain proclaimed in a voice void of emotion, "My life is over". And in Malaysian Rosita was helpless as she watched and heard her screaming son being sucked away by the waves. "He went underwater and I never saw him again" she sobbed.
These are some of the stories I read this morning about the tragic events over the weekend that resulted in the 9.0 earthquake deep beneath the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia. Destruction hurtled unannounced to unsuspecting people on vacation or in businesses far from the center of the event. Affects as far as 3000 miles were reported as 500 mph waves hit coastland areas. America's 9/11 pales in comparison to this event. To date 23,000 lives are being reported as lost, and we are sure this number is going to rise. Entire generations in small communities no longer exist. Orphans and parents missing children walk in a numbed shock, some of them unable to even register their pain.
Today as I sit in my comfortable chair thousands of miles from this event I can not begin to wrap my head around the scope of what has happened. I see the charts and maps. I have watched video and listened to experts relay the facts but there is no way I will ever begin to understand how much has been lost. Yet my heart breaks and I feel so very helpless to do anything that will have an impact into this situation. My heart reaches out for those that are working to survive, and helping others to as well. My prayers seem so limited and useless in the midst of such enormous tragedy.
Were I there today would my faith be able to withstand living with a world where my entire family were so instantly lost and shattered? Would I be able to offer comfort to those that in such desperate need? In this time where God with his peace and comfort are needed most could I extend this hope to others who have embraced hopelessness?
Brothers and sisters a life with God is serious business. It will demand of you the willingness to be His child in all situations. It is not a social club or a Church Gathering. It is not revivals or Christmas programs where we serve but in the direct hands on ministry where lives are messy and dreams are shattered.
I feel so ill equipped faced with this scope of a problem. And should I only count my human ability then I truly would be useless. I have faith that the God which is in me can give me what is needed in all situations but I have yet to have that faith tested as it is being tested in others. I find myself asking questions of myself that I am uncomfortable with. Am I ready to really do Gods work, or is my living for self still the central theam of my life?
I was so moved by the images I saw today and I needed to write this down, to calm the writers spirit in me. But I have another spirit in me that is not calm, that is calling me into some action. Maybe the best I can do physically is send money to those organizations that are working to save lives. But I also need to continue to offer prayers and raise up to my Father requests for continued comfort in this crisis. We live in a fallen world and things like this will happen. But I know our Father answers all prayers, and I am asking that my Christ family join me today in this one.
Dear Father. I come to you in turmoil and in shock at the events around this earthquake over this weekend. I know Father that hardship and loss are part of this world but the deep shocks of this event have shattered countless lives and I feel so much the need to reach for you. I know Father that you are a God of comfort and I want to join in with my brothers and sisters to seek your presence in this situation. I am ignorant of specific needs but I know that you are aware of all things. Please dear Father hear my prayer today. Please reveal your grace and mercy and comfort to those people in this time. Please strengthen those that can help others and use me in this situation if you can. In the name of your Son Jesus Christ I pray all these things. Amen.