Lessons can be learned from ‘faithquakes’ in our lives
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2011
After the 9.0 earthquake ravaged Japan and caused the devastating tsunami on March 11, the U.S. Geological Survey found that the main island of Japan had moved 8 feet.
According to NASA, the powerful earthquake caused the Earth’s axis to shift by 6.5 inches. The scientists said that the quake shortened the Earth’s day by just over one-millionth of a second.
It’s difficult to imagine the death and destruction there that we can only get a glimpse of on television. Recently, a friend who went on a mission trip to help the people of Haiti following their earthquake last year commented on a church service she attended there.
The congregation was quoting a Scripture passage in unison. The church only had two Bibles. She asked the interpreter the reference. He told her, “Psalm 46.”
Looking up the words, she realized how those verses spoke to survivors of the earthquake. The chapter begins, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.”
Natural disasters like the earthquake in Japan followed by the tsunami and nuclear contamination like the earthquakes in Haiti and other places around the world may cause us to ask why these things happen. It can shake our faith to see the suffering in our world.
Chuck Colson has said, “The biblical worldview teaches that God created the heavens and the earth and that the physical creation, reflecting its rational creator, behaves according to observable laws. As a result of observing these laws and principles, we know much about plate tectonics and how earthquakes occur. And we know that they are a result of natural processes.”
When disasters occur, remember the words of Father Andrew, “Never judge God by suffering, but judge suffering by the Cross.”
We are witnessing an outpouring of love and concern for the Japanese as we did the Haitians. Theologian and preacher Helmut Thielicke has written, “Tell me how much you know of the sufferings of your fellow men and I will tell you how much you have loved them.”
Christians from different denominations and Christian humanitarian organizations such as Convoy of Hope and Samaritan’s Purse have come together to demonstrate the faith they believe. People of faith see humanity as being made in the image of God. And Jesus told us, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:30).
Life on this earth brings tragedies of all kinds. Your world can fall apart around you through sickness, accident, death, divorce, or even natural disasters like storms that can cause faithquakes. Psalm 46 also reminds us, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”