The Terror I May Never Know
The television is filled with images of people in desperate despair in China. An Earthquake measuring 7.9 struck that country, in the middle of the morning, on a busy week day. Many of the buildings that collapsed crushed thousands of school children. The populations of entire towns are sleeping out of doors, some, even camping out under umbrellas, for fear that more quakes will happen and more misery added to their lives.
Parents stand on the edges of the rubble that was once their child’s school. They cry and scream out their children’s name but hear only silence. Rescue workers stand nearby, with nothing to do but watch and add their tears, because they must wait for other workers to remove as much wreckage as possible before they can climb inside to pull out the bodies.
I saw footage of Chinese people standing on a train platform. They were experiencing another aftershock. The look of terror and dismay on their faces said more to me than any news commentator could.
I see their fear and can imagine it in my mind. But I cannot know it and I probably never will.
My life has had its share of devastation. I have lost loved ones and seen my children suffer. But there is a difference. I place my faith in a God who loves all people. I believe that each one of those grieving parents brings sadness to my God’s heart.
Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, because of his death, I can come before my Father. I can stand in the throne room, beside my savior and know that my Father hears my prayers and desires only good for me and those I love and even those I have never met and yet have included in my prayers.
I cannot reach out to people in China, or Myanmar, or Columbia to bring help and comfort. But there is no doubt in my mind that my prayers, and the prayers of countless others reaches God’s throne and that he hears and acts because we have boldness to come and ask him.
Someday I may be caught in a tornado. I may have the world collapse beneath my feet. I may be caught in a flood that sweeps away everyone I know and love. But if I am the only one left, although I am sure that I would feel terror, loss and uncertainty, I know that I would not be lost. My God is my sun and my shield. He will protect my mind and see me through until I reach past this life and enter into Heaven where he will wipe away my tears and fill me with such gladness that I will no longer remember the devastation of life lived in a fallen world.
And so I pray. And I ask the Father what I can do. And I do what I can. I pray that there will be those who can and will.
I am safe. No matter what happens, I am safe.