Saturday, January 16, 2010

Praise in the Storm

The events this week in Haiti have caused me to reflect on several things. As we see the images pouring in through the internet and televisions we are confronted with a multitude of emotions. It is a catastrophic event that has caught our attention and jolted us out of our everyday routines. It has made us see how little of our lives we actually have any control over.

This event hit close to home for my family, and many that live in my area, as we awaited word on the well being of missionary that grew up here. Three days went by before finally hearing that she was safe. I cannot even imagine the rollercoaster of emotions that her family went through as they eagerly awaited word from her. God delivered this young lady from her situation and we give Him all the Praise and Glory for that.

I have not been to Haiti yet, but my faith has been strengthened as I have seen the reports of how some of the people in Haiti are singing songs of praise to God in the evenings. That has really convicted me. In their pain and suffering they are choosing to praise God! How often in our own lives, when we go through trial, do we find ourselves complaining to God about our situation instead of praising Him in all situations? It reminded me of a song by Casting Crowns called “Praise you in this Storm”.

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

The Haitian people are torn because of their situation. You and I are torn because we feel helpless and overwhelmed with the enormity of what they face. But we serve a God who bigger than all of this and He will draw His people together through this. It is in Him that we will find our comfort. It is in Him that we will find our rest. That doesn’t make it any easier to work through all that we face, but it does give us hope.

Another thing I thought about was what Jesus said in Matthew 25:34-36 (NIV)

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

There has been an outpouring of compassion from around the world for the Haitian people, but it can’t and shouldn’t stop here. There will be needs in Haiti for years to come and we will need to help. There will be opportunities in the months to come to help, so pray that God will reveal to you the ways that you can help if that is His plans for you. Be sure to check out any organizations that you choose to financially support. Unfortunately, in times like these, there are people who will take advantage of every situation.

My hope and prayer is that this situation will also help us to focus and be aware of the needs we have around us everyday. It shouldn’t take a crisis event like this to cause us to reach out and lend a helping hand to those in need. We have people around us everyday that need us to model what Jesus said in Matthew 25:35-36.

There will be some good that will come out of something like this if it causes us to change the way we live our lives and how we see the people around us. We need to put God first and be the hands and feet of Jesus every single day, not just when there is a major event.

Continue to pray for the Haitian people and all the orphans that are in Haiti. Pray that through this, the government of Haiti will truly begin to work to help the people of Haiti. Pray for the people that are there serving our Lord and Savior and remember to praise our God who is our hope in this storm.

John 16:33