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Haiti: Where is God?

Posted on January 15th, 2010

A number of people have asked me about where God is amidst the devastation of the recent earthquake in Haiti. What do we tell our children, our young people, our church, and seekers? Last Sunday I preached a summary of the Book of Isaiah to our church as we concluded a recent teaching series. We distributed two weeks of a Daily Office based on Isaiah that you are welcome to download. It can be found at:     Why does God allow evil like the earthquake in Haiti? The answer is: “I don’t know.” Nobody does.  The Jews went through repeated tumultuous, confusing, often disastrous, events during the time of Isaiah. The country was shaken to the core after King Uzziah died. He had provided 52 years of stability and relatively good leadership. They were invaded by the Assyrians and later conquered by the Babylonians. They lost everything and were carried into exile 500-700 miles from their homes. Isaiah had a Word for them; he has a Word for us:  1.  Remember: God is on the Throne God reveals Himself as “the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted (Isaiah 6). He is sitting, relaxed and not anxious. He is the Lord Almighty and in control over all historical events! God is beyond us. We can’t figure Him out. The nations are a drop in the bucket and we can never wrap our arms around His massiveness.  He works through and in the stumps (Isaiah 6:13, 11:1) — that is the small, ugly, seemingly dead things in life. The kingdom is a mustard seed and we can trust that our God, who sits on the throne, is good. He suffers with the people of Haiti today. It is a stump. He will bring seeds of His kingdom, somehow, in this tragedy. 2.  Waiting Patiently for God is the Foundation of the Spiritual Life This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:         “In repentance and rest is your salvation,        in quietness and trust is your strength,        but you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15)      Waiting on God patiently is not something we do once in a while. It truly is the foundation of a solid, mature life in Christ. There is no other way to develop a genuine spirituality. God offers us His strength and salvation amidst the confusion and difficulties of life.  The people of Isaiah’s day would not wait on the Lord, but insisted on rushing headlong to disaster. It is painful to watch the footage on Haiti. God invites us to pray, wait, trust and hope in Him alone during these difficult hours. 3. God Invites You to Join Him in Transforming the World (61:4) They will rebuild the ancient ruins And restore the places long devastated; They will renew the ruined cities, that have been devastated for generations  God is in the process of renewing and transforming the world. He invites us to join Him in that renewal process, using our time, gifts, talents, and energy on behalf of this renewal He is doing. We are the ones to rebuild the ancient ruins that exist in our broken world (Isaiah 61:4). Let’s do all we can to contribute to the recovery effort in Haiti. 4.  Loving Your Enemy is at the Core of the Christian Life (Isaiah 58:3-4) The most recent enemy to come out of the news the last few days has been about Pat Robertson. He apparently said that Haiti deserved this earthquake for making a pact with the devil, that it was sent from God as a form of judgment. When I first heard this, I was indignant and joined the conversation around me (at least in my heart) in murdering him. Watch his remarks on video and see what you think. It seems to me some words were put in his mouth. I did not sense a vindictive spirit from him. Yet even if he did utter such remark, we are to love him and hide his faults, not expose them. I do not agree with everything he says. The issue is the condition of my heart. Is it now hard? I have said many, many foolish things in my life!  God have mercy on me, a sinner.   Christians, and others, who drive us crazy are not interruptions to us. They are the place where God happens!  So where is God? He is in Haiti. Let us join Him there as God enables.

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