Monday, February 6, 2012

The Quake

"When these things begin to take place, 
stand up and lift up your heads, 
because your redemption is drawing near." ~Luke 21:28

I haven't experienced a major earthquake until now, save that one when I was in the fourth floor of the University Library of Ferris University in Yokohama late in the evening, ten years ago.

That was the most terrifying as I imagined all those tall pile of books burying me alive. Though looking back, it was a milder one, compared to what happened to Japan and the recent one in the Visayas part of the Philippines. What impressed it to me as real scary was the fact that it was my first bout with earthquakes. But soon, thereafter, I began to get used to it, as I had often awakened to earthquakes during my one-year stay there.

With the fact that Japan is a highly-advanced technological country and the assurance from my professors that most of the building are earthquake-friendly (they told me Japanese engineers and architects have devised a way to make buildings just sway and bounce during earthquakes, not shake and collapse), I had full trust that nothing bad will happen to the Land of the Rising Sun.

So imagine my shock and devastation when at the middle of a working afternoon, news scattered that a big tsunami hit Japan. And as I was browsing the Internet pictures of the magnitude and intensity of destruction, I was reminded with the song, God is the God of this City.

You see, I was already a Christian at that time. And I already know fully well that no matter how strong a country is by human standards, God is sovereign. And He can break that country and its people so their strength will no longer be on their own but on Him.

When the earthquake hit at around ten o'clock in the morning today, I was assisting the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Ministry Partner Training in Church. We had to stop for about ten minutes and soon thereafter, text messages came flooding, warning of a tsunami and more aftershocks.

But the training went on, well until five o'clock in the afternoon. God's purpose was accomplished and I was extremely and abundantly blessed to be part of it.

Going home, more and more scary images from Negros Oriental (the capital city, Dumaguete, is the city I consider as my second home) and more and more stories of fear and worry came from my family members. And as they went on, I chose to find solace in my own room, crying out to Jesus to spare us and give us another chance to repent and know Him.

It was in this moment of my conversation to Him that He led me to His verses in the Bible. Mark 4:35-41 narrates of how Jesus calmed an intense storm, just by the command of His mouth. And I found so much peace, comfort, and strength in the fact that this God I worship, this Jesus I consider as my Lord and Savior, is also the Lord and God of nature. The seas, the wind, the mountains and everything bow down to His commands. He is the Lord of all lords, King of all kings. Praise God!

Also, Luke 21 says that when signs in the moon, in the sun, and in the earth begin to appear, the coming again of Jesus Christ is near. We know that in His appointed time, all these things must happen to fulfill His perfect will.

As a Christian, I rejoice at the fact that I am going to meet my King soon. And all the more this encourages me (and to all Christians) to love and serve Jesus more and more and bring His gospel of salvation to every unbeliever that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

"When these things begin to take place, 
stand up and lift up your heads, 
because your redemption is drawing near." ~Luke 21:28

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