I have been drawn to the barrage of coverage of the crisis in Japan for the last few days. The images and videos stir my heart and cause me, at times, to exclaim out loud. I cannot believe the devastation each time I turn on the television or log on to the internet. Life is forever changed for thousands and thousands of people in that country. What they held in their hands on Thursday is gone, washed away in a holocaust of waves. So many now find themselves in a place where they have absolutely nothing left that resembles their life a few days ago.
It has brought me to the place where I am looking around at my house and my things, what I call MY LIFE, and asking "Is this really what my life is about? Do the things we possess and the routines of our lives define us? If we lost them, would we lose ourselves?"
Reflecting on the past three years I can point to the two times our home flooded as what I termed "disasters". We lost things we owned and we had to spend lots of money rebuilding our house. I felt so lost when we were displaced both times. Granted, wonderful friends took us in and gave us a place to call home. I cannot imagine how we would have survived without their selfless compassion. But, not having my own place and my own routine was very difficult for me. Those were definitely times that my faith was tested and I felt battle weary.
Tonight, though, I can see something so clearly. As much as the two floods impacted us emotionally and financially they were nothing compared to what the dear people of Japan are facing. I knew where all of my family members were. I knew there was a place of shelter for me and my family. I knew we would have food and water, all the things we needed. But, right now, there are thousands there who don't know. Nothing seems certain to them. And, surely, hope must be weakening, if not altogether gone.
I am thankful that in my time of need I had hope. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I am reminded I am fortunate to know God and to have this hope. I am reminded to put my trust in the name of the Lord our God because everything else will fail us.