As we see and hear about the devastation that has occurred in the Philippines this past week from Typhoon Haiyan, it is a sobering reminder of a few things.
First, we are not in control. There is a God who is far bigger and more powerful than any of us can possibly imagine. Although the survivors of a natural disaster like this can imagine much more than you or I. One way to not grow mega-churches is to preach the importance of fearing God. But this is a message so many of us need to hear. Scripture is consistent through the Old and New Testaments (in fact, in every book but Song of Songs) of warnings to believers. As people, we must understand our proper place before a holy, all-powerful God…but our “pulpits” are relatively silent on this topic. A disaster like this screams very loudly to those who have an ear to hear: we are small, but He is BIG.
Second, we live in a fallen world. This sort of random chaos and destruction has a way of shaking up our whole outlook and sometimes, our worldview. In fact, often those who call themselves Christians, when faced head-on with a tragedy, decide that they can no longer believe in a God who allows this sort of evil to occur. They-not God- then become the center of morality and justice in the world and in doing so, usurp God’s throne as Lord of all and propagate the exact cause to this whole mess: our idolatry and rebellion against a holy, all-powerful, loving, and just God.
Third, we need to pray. With the enormity of this devastation (over 11 million people in need of aid), I am left wondering: what can I do? I could donate some spare cash towards the cause, I could drop everything and just go help in the relief effort, and I can pray. What will make the most impact? Clearly the answer is prayer. But that does not mean I will not consider the other two options. My prayer is that God’s goodness and love shine bright to those in the darkest places of destruction and desperation in the wake of the typhoon. This is where the church can rise up and glorify Him who is able to do exceedingly more than all that we can ask or imagine.