Friday, March 11, 2011
Because today is my day off, I was able to watch the video and each moment's updates of the double disasters of earthquake and tsunami that plowed through northern Japan. It was reminiscent of the 2004 disaster in Sumatra, but even felt more dramatic and tragic because we were live and had so many more vantage points from which to view.
On top of the natural disaster are the collateral effects. As I write there is great anxiety over the prospects of not one but two nuclear disasters as power plants are in danger of melt-down. Already nuclear-laden steam has been released into the air in order to reduce pressure in the core. That can't be good, but should the core overheat it could be even worse. A nuclear disaster, ala Chernobyl could have regional and hemispheric ramifications.
Roads are impassable for first responders. Who knows how many dead are scattered about the landscape, trapped in collapsed buildings or floating in the sea? It is horrible, to say the least.
Not only that, our coast in Hawaii and on the West Coast have been on alert all day for the possibility of seismic sea waves.
And it all happened with precious little or no warning. We woke to the news utterly surprised and shocked.
I haven't seen the movie, but I have a friend who, when news such as birds mysteriously dying, or earthquakes, simply says, "2012", referring to the Mayan prediction of the end of the world. We all chuckle when he says it.
Yet I live daily with the belief that an apocalypse is coming. This planet "groans", the Bible says, waiting for a day of redemption. Jesus predicted earthquakes and disasters, wars and insurrections would be on the increase. Makes me wonder about the rash of political upheavals in the Arab world. John's vision, the last book of the Bible tells of horrible disasters bringing untold loss of life and property.
Who knows when? 2012? I'm not banking on any date setting. But at least we have been warned.
Of course the big question is, "What do you do with the warning?" Or, "Are you prepared?".
I don't live in fear of "the end of the world" because I have a hope in salvation that God has promised and by His grace has made available to all in Christ. These words from Paul to Titus give me great hope that no matter what, I'm secure in that grace. Christ is coming back, and in that I have peace.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. - Titus 2:11-14 NLT