“The love of God is like the ocean,
you can see its beginnings but not its end.”
- Author Unknown
Did you know that the distance from the Denver Airport to Narita Airport (Tokyo) is 5,787 miles? Today it seems like we are separated by much more than miles or even an ocean... I don’t know about you, but my heart just aches for the people in Japan. Earthquake! Tsunami! Nuclear Disaster! Any one of these events is devastating on its own, but experiencing all three at the same time is more than I can fathom.
Headlines this week read: U.S. Urges Americans to Leave. I have friends that have been serving as missionaries in Japan and on Wednesday I received an email from them. In the subject line it said “We’re Heading Home.” Their email continued, "having mixed feelings and are in a bit of shock with all that’s happened and with being completely uprooted in less than a week.” And they added, "Praise God for His faithfulness and His supreme wisdom in all things!”
I am thankful that they will soon be home and safe (especially because they are expecting their first baby), but I am sad that their mission work has ended so abruptly. At the end of their email they quoted a Bible verse. As soon as I read the verse I knew that their faith was still holding strong, and God willing, someday their work in Japan would continue. I was brought to my knees to thank God for reminding me once again, that He is in control. The words were from Hebrews 1:3... “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command.”
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain,
glowing in the night for all to see. “
It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle ... action required... Our hearts are breaking for the survivors in Japan, so it is important to remember these very wise, very true words.... “We can’t do it all, but we can all do something!” This week’s “sparkle” idea is like a beacon, a ray of light, directing others to the source of hope and salvation. There are many ways we can help make a difference for the Japanese people, and I am highlighting two of those ways below.
The first way we can make a difference is by offering our PRAYERS. Did you know that the word “heiwa” means peace in Japanese? As I started writing this blog today, I thought, “Oh, yes.... I will pray God’s peace for Japan.” But as this story continued to evolve, so did my prayers.
The Presidential Prayer Team is a resource I use a lot when I am searching for specific ways to pray for our country/world. Today they offered the following prayer on their website and listed some specific prayer concerns for the people of Japan. I am sharing them both below, but to check out the website for yourself or sign up for their daily devotion, go to: http://presidentialprayerteam.com/
Thank You, Father, for being our Lord in all things. Thank You that we are sheltered by Your wings, and that You have hidden us in the cleft of the rock. Teach us as we wait upon You more. Give grace and mercy to the people of Japan – to those who have lost homes and loved ones, and to those who are in shelters and fearful for the lack of food and water. Be with those who are on search, rescue and recovery teams. We pray for miracles even yet, Lord. You are awesome, and we love You. Amen.
• Intercede for the leaders of Japan, that they would be able to quickly assess the damage and reach those still desperately in need.
• Pray for those making critical decisions concerning the power plants, that they would have wisdom and be able to avert further calamity.
• Ask God to provide opportunities for Christians in Japan to be beckons of hope when there seems little left to hope for.
• Finally, pray that the Lord will grant you wisdom in how to offer support and for the Holy Spirit to guide your prayers as you intercede for those in need.
Just like Americans turned to prayer after 9/11, so too are the Japanese drawing on their spiritual resources (their gods) after the recent disasters. After reading an interesting article entitled “Japan faces disaster ‘praying for compassion, for miracles’” my prayers have grown deeper than the survival of the Japanese people, my prayers will include petitions for their salvation. To read the entire article, follow this link: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2011/03/japan-disaster-prayer-buddhist-/1?csp=34
The second way we can make a difference is by GIVING. Here is an article that offers great tips for giving wisely to Japan... http://austin.bbb.org/article/bbb-warns-donors-to-give-wisely-to-japan-relief-efforts-26059
Also, K-Love radio has a list on their website, containing information on the following agencies that are recommended as legitimate relief efforts. To read more about any of these agencies, check out their link at... http://www.klove.com/promodetails.aspx?i=6544
Food for the Hungry
Save the Children
Baptist Global Response
Convoy of Hope
I’m sure for many of us, the news reports have been overwhelming, but let’s not dwell in sadness, depression or hopelessness. Hebrews 10:23 tells us “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Let’s use the events in Japan as a wake-up call to humbly kneel before our God...our Hope and our Redeemer.
God’s Heiwa, Donna Weaver
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean,
but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
- Mother Teresa