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Praying for Japan

My prayers to the people in Japan. And a few thoughts (though from the uninitiated) about tragedy and disasters such as this.

As the waters recede and the flames die, no doubt there will be stories of God’s miracles and blessings. And then of course the Christian thing to say is “Praise God for how He used this tragic event for His greater purpose.” But I want to have faith in his works even before the blessings come to pass. Even if no purpose ever becomes evident, I pray for faith to believe evil in our world is turned to give God glory and strengthen us. I read of hundreds dead. I hear of an entire church of believers that hasn’t been heard from. But yet I praise God for His power and wisdom. And I give thanks that, sinful and broken though our world may be, nothing stops God from turning things to his greater purpose.

It’s definitely too easy for me, thousands of miles from disaster, to proclaim faith in God. I’m warm and comfy here in the US. But in Japan, for every story of God’s faithfulness you’ll probably hear another accusation of injustice. For how is tragedy and disaster proof of a real, good God? I don’t have any easy answers to that. I can go on about God’s greater purposes or how our own brokenness makes the world this way. But honestly, I’m sure that doesn’t actually bring comfort to people watching their homes burn and their lives drown. Ultimately, I think this is where faith has to come in and where our commitment to God must show. One of my favorite songs:

“If you should speak, or should remain in silence, should give me light or lead me through the dark. Whatever cost, whatever joy or sorrow I’ll worship still because of who you are.” (Starfield, Great is the Lord).

We don’t worship God because He’s given us the perfect or even a half-way decent life. We worship Him because of who He is. Because we have faith in his good and perfect will. And I pray I always remember that. Whether I cry tears of joy or pain and anguish, may I sing “Great is the Lord.”

I also want to thank all of you who emailed/fb’ed/visited my blog/etc after the earthquake and tsunami, asking me how this might affect my going to Japan. It was the most wonderful blessing in reminding me I am not on this journey alone. As I go to Japan, I carry along a little bit of all those who pray with and for me. Truly it makes me feel, more than ever, like part of a gigantic team. Your support and love has really shown your own heart for this work and I am so incredibly thankful to have you all alongside me.

(On a side note, I watched the Italian Job the other night and that early clip in Philadelphia made me all homesick. Shout-out to all my Philly homies! I miss you!!)

Anyway, I’m glad to say I’m still going to Japan as planned. In fact, my team leaders didn’t even feel the earthquake in Hiroshima at the southern end of Japan. But this will definitely have an impact on the ministry of the church in Japan. It would be really awesome if God could use this as some sort of breakthrough, especially in the most affected areas in the north. Please pray with me that it would be so!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. pauline
    March 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    hey jess! glad to hear your plans were not thwarted. 🙂 will be keeping you and the people of japan in prayer indeed.

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