Yuki-Anne, a guest blogger here on Beneath the Tangles, is a missionary in Japan (read her previous entry here). She was there last week when the devastating earthquakes struck the country.
So there I was, clinging to the door frame, praying, “God, please make it stop, please protect us, please make it stop, please protect us.”
Yoko-san came out of the other room and told me we needed to go downstairs. I didn’t need to be told twice. We poured out of the building and waited for the shaking to stop. It seemed to stop, but everytime we would go back inside, the shaking would start again. Even now, we still experience aftershocks.
I’m sure you’ve been reading the news. You don’t need me to tell you about the climbing death toll, the sheer loss of human life. And so in the middle of this, I’m having to ask myself a question: Can I trust God?
Can I trust God when I asked Him to stop this horrible thing, and He didn’t?
Can I trust God when He has allowed all this death and destruction?
I’m not going to pretend to have the answers. I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to keep trusting God when aftershocks rock my home, and I am forced to have a survival bag near the door, just in case. I’m not going to pretend my faith isn’t shaken when I hear that the death toll in Miyagi prefecture alone could reach above 10,000. I’m not going to pretend I’m not afraid of being exposed to radiation from the power plant located less than a hundred miles away from me. I’m not going to pretend I’m completely happy with God when I see footage of town after town that has completely obliterated, and He had the power to stop it.
But for some reason, I do trust God. I trust God, even though the earthquakes haven’t stopped. I trust God, even though the death toll keeps climbing. I trust God, even in the midst of my fear, and I pray that my friends and neighbors will learn of His love and learn to trust Him too.
Because He didn’t make it stop, but He did protect many of us. Because even though this world is broken and these people all around me are hurting, there are small blessings, like a baby being born in a hospital on a hill while the tsunami waters swirl in the valley below. Small blessings like a father and his daughter being able to reunite after being separated by the disaster. Small blessings, like the love, prayers, and concern of an entire planet.
I don’t know what you believe about God. I don’t know how this crisis affects what you believe about Him. But what I want you to know is that I came to this country because long before this disaster, Japan was a nation without hope. One of the highest suicide rates in the world, a stagnant economy, an insufficient birth rate. I believed at the time that God was the only hope for these people. I still believe that.
I don’t know why this happened. All the reasons you can think of just sound like mocking to those of us who are mourning. But what I do know is that, more than ever, God is still our only hope.
Yuki-Anne is working with an organization called CRASH to help those in need in Japan. Please visit their website for information about their activities. Also, if you haven’t already, please donate! And please pray for those who’ve suffered so much from this catastrophe.