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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Psalm 46:1,2 Handling Earthquakes spiritually

Psalm 46:1,2
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (NIV)

1-3 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. (The Message)

January 12 a major (7.0) earthquake hits Haiti.  230,000 people died. February 4 a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit northern California. Last Friday (2/26) a 7.3 earthquake hit Okinawa.  Now an 8.8 earthquake hits Chile.  There is some clear shifting of the earth's plates going on.

How should Christians react to such things?
1) Do not fear.  The peace we have amidst the hurricanes, earthquakes, global warming, or whatever should show the world it is possible to have peace in God.  Psalm 46 reminds us that God is our refuge and strength- not the earth or science.
2) Pray.  Pray for the people of Haiti and Chile especially.  Pray not only for their physical needs, but for their spiritual needs, and that people will turn to God for peace, strength, and grace.
3) Seek to help.  Giving to those in need- primarily through our churches' disaster assistance, hygiene kits are some helpful things we can do.
4) Look for God- God is in the midst of the earthquake, the storm, the fire.  Sometimes the sign of His coming is the alarm clock of a disaster.  His ultimate second coming will also come with earthquakes.  Often people ask "Where is God?" in a disaster, but stories gradually come out of His help.  Look closer and you will see His hand at work helping too.

Jesus said: 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Christians always stand at the edge of history, recognizing that security in this life is fleeting.  You would think people would know that because everyone knows that their personal history will end one day.  But we make false security with a belief that our health care will keep us healthy forever; our makeup, contacts, botox will keep us young; our money and clothes will keep us happy.  Disasters remind us of the fleeting nature of life, and should remind us to turn back to God who made the earth and sea.

Prayer: Lord, this day, strengthen those who are trying to help others in your name in Chile and Haiti.  Give grace that the people of Haiti and Chile will find your sterngth and help.

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