My mind is still reeling as I watch news footage of the devastation in Japan caused by the earthquake and tsunami that hit last week, as well as the continuing threat of nuclear exposure. I can not begin to imagine the utter devastation that the survivors must be feeling. How will they even begin to go forward from here? This isn't the first area to experience a disaster like this one, and it won't be the last. But for these people, THIS is their story, their tragedy, and will be the defining life event. I heard a Japanese commentator state that the Japanese people are strong and united, and will come back even stronger as a culture because of the events. In fact, this has been the case throughout history when all seems hopeless: people totally give up or they rally and continue as survivors. Time will tell how the cities and country recover, but it has to be so much harder on an individual level.
More and more horrible stories are now being told of people who desperately tried to cling to family members when the waters came in, only to have them slip out of their grasp and swept away as they watched hopelessly. I can not begin to fathom this. How do you recover from something like that, especially when you are now being told to stay inside because of nuclear radiation in the air, but there is no inside because all of the structures are gone? What about the ones who had spent a lifetime collecting stuff to validate their worth--stuff washed away in an instant?
I just don't know how I would respond. This is where I would hope that my faith in God would be shown to be real. I truly believe in a God who is all-powerful and all-loving, not just in the good or easy times, but in the devastating times as well. I hope that I would hold on to the promise He made that He would never leave me or forsake me, and that He would be my refuge and strength. Or that I would cling to the verse that I've repeated so many times in often frivolous circumstances (like lifeguard swim drills), "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".
I don't personally know a single person that lives in Japan, but I will continue to pray that if they know Jesus they will find their comfort in Him, and if they don't know Him, that someone will be able to physically be the hands and feet of Jesus for them.
I heard this song on the radio for the first time today, and it made me think of the survivors. Time will tell if they become stronger, but in the meantime, I hope they find comfort in God's strength.
It is called 'Stronger' by Mandisa. I'm a little hesitant to put it on here because of the line that says, 'when the waves are pulling you under, hold on a little bit longer'. It almost seems cruel in the context of what happened in Japan, but I post it with only the best of intentions.