God is always with us
I would guess that lately everyone is once again counting their blessings and praying for earthquake-ravaged Japan. The feared tsunami theory is now reality and it has many people sitting up straight in their cushy office chair taking notice.
The Pacific West Coast naysayers stood in awe as they watched their pleasure cabin cruisers and yachts get tossed about like toys in several harbors when the wave arrived from Japan. No, it wasn’t a big wave, but more a swell of ocean water by the time it traveled 5,000 miles, just as destructive as had been predicted and promised by scientists.
Japanese officials are equally surprised at the size of the tsunami as it entered their shores. The wave, about 35 feet high at the beach encroachment, traveled inland over six miles and destroyed everything in its wake. It is thought that some of this land had actually dropped in elevation and may never be dry again.
More than 100,000 people have lost everything they ever possessed. Homes, businesses, farmlands, vehicles, animals, and the lives of who knows how many people have been lost forever.
Like a thief in the night and worse than an invading enemy, an earthquake has robbed and pillaged the northern sector of the island of Japan. What was once a productive region of commerce now lies waste. This is nothing new under the sun. We know fierce earthquakes and floods and tsunamis and tornadoes and whatever more evil destructive things you can think of, have existed since the birth of our planet and there’s nothing we can do about it.
I’m sorry we keep multiplying and getting in the way. As usual the world will join hands in love and concern with whatever is needed to help the people of Japan recover from this devastating event in history. Do you now believe in the reality that tomorrow you too could lose it all?
Soon after Ralph died, his lawyer stood before the family and read Ralph’s Last Will and Testament.
“To my dear wife, Mary, I leave the house, 50 acres of land, and 1 million dollars. To my son, Michael, I leave my big Lexus and the Jaguar. To my daughter, Suzy, I leave my yacht and $250,000. To my brother-in-law Jeff, who always insisted that health is more important than wealth, I leave my sunlamp.”
A Sunday school teacher asked the class to draw a picture illustrating a Bible story. Little Johnny drew a picture of a big car. An old man was driving, whiskers flying in the breeze. A man and a woman were sitting in the back seat of the car. Puzzled, the teacher asked Johnny to explain what Bible story he had in mind as he drew his picture. “That’s God in his car. He’s driving Adam and Eve out of the garden.”
(Ecclesiastes 5: 8-6: 12) Yes, even the first couple lost everything once. It was due to their disobedience true enough, but all was lost. If everyone in the world suddenly became righteous in God’s sight, would all the bad things of this world go away? I doubt it very much. Life is what it is, unpredictable. So, is it wrong to have gain and enjoy it? Not at all! Just don’t hold on to your stuff too tightly.
The teacher reminds us, (v.15) “Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs.” Job witnessed the same thing (Job 1:20-21) and added, “... The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (v.22) In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Where was God during the earthquake? The same place He was when His own Son died. God is always with us, no matter the trial.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. This column will be available in the Wilson County News when space is available. Readers can also find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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