Thursday, January 14, 2010

Praying for Haiti

The act of suffering in this world is one that confuses many people. I have to tell you, in reading the recent events in Haiti, I can't help but wonder - why does this have to happen? Not only does this country not have the ability to help themselves, but the odds that are stacked up against them in their efforts for prosperity are seemingly too great. The problem here is that many look to these tragic world events and try to seek justice and love out of them. It’s hard to sit back and know that the loving and compassionate God that I know and defend is looked at as evil and unfair, and yet, I can’t make sense of it either.

So what can I offer?

The cross.

I can’t defend much about the ugliness of this world, because the truth is, if I pay too much attention – it overwhelms me. The sadness that certain events bring to my life sometimes outweigh the good and instead of attacking it with the Gospel, I oftentimes just ignore it. I’m really ashamed to admit this because Lord knows that they’re so much work to be done that it simply can’t be overlooked. Tim Keller gives perspective to the ultimate sacrifice in Christ’s death as not only the great act of suffering, but the greatest. Keller explains that, “the death of Jesus was qualitatively different from any other death. The physical pain was nothing compared to the spiritual experience of cosmic abandonment. Christianity alone among the world religions claims that God became uniquely and fully human in Jesus Christ and therefore knows firsthand despair, rejection, loneliness, poverty, bereavement, torture and imprisonment.” Out of all of those desperately suffering emotions, I am fortunate enough to have barely skimmed the surface of a few of those. The idea behind Christ’s fulfillment on the cross is that he would rescue us from the sin of this world that would absolutely crush us. The question is now whether it would end us, it is how.

The argument that beauty comes from pain is an ideology that is proven through the ages; great suffering oftentimes comes with even greater return. Some of the most prominent biblical figures walked through the depths of pain and suffering to not only glorify and praise God, but to devote their lives to him in a way that would choose emotional and physical pain over worldly happiness. However, not all suffering is completely justified. Many have experienced “senseless” deaths and acts of injustice that simply have no explanation. But the truth is, people experience these terrible conditions and use them for roles of reform and social justice. Without the depths of despair experienced in these life sufferings, we might never know the richness of grace and forgiveness. The Lord is able to provide hope to those of us because He endured it as well. The suffering of this world is not an empty act of an unjust God, and for those of us that believe this should use it to offer but an ounce of grace that has been poured over us by a loving One.

Please visit Compassion International for ways in which to donate to families in need.

"God whispers in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to a deaf world." ~ C.S. Lewis

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, sals. This is so true. It is so hard to understand because we can't. What we can offer is prayer, financial help, and support for those able to go and lend a hand.

    This morning I was moved to tears as I was watching the news and they were showing the people of Haiti standing in the streets singing praises, praying and worshipping. It honestly brought me to tears seeing their faith in the midst of tragedy of epic proportions.

    They get it...the cross...they get it.

    And I was so thankful for a glimpse of that this morning. I pray for God's mercy and His hand over Haiti right now. Love you. XOXO