It has been a painful thing to watch. What began as a tremor and turned into a tidal wave has washed terror and destruction over scores in Japan. It is one thing to watch the natural disasters unfold in real time; it has been another to watch a nation shaken and grieving. Where is God? The promise for the very last words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew state clearly, “and I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
So God is there (in fact God is here, there and everywhere) and well at work though we may not yet see the totality of the fruit born by His presence and spirit at work there. In the midst of the worst that fallenness and natural evil can bring there is yet no looting, nor violence, nor predators roaming the streets. God is at work in the humble and broken and this in a country where less than 1% professes to be Christians. In fact, it strikes me that there is much the Christian Community can learn from the teamwork and care that is being displayed by the Japanese people.
When and where will Jesus come into play? The Bible speaks to a promise that Christ is already at work and has been. I believe that to be true and so we must be in the seed planting stage rather than the harvesting stage. Who will go and help plant and water those seeds of faith? Maybe that will be someone like you or a family member. UMCOR is there and bringing much needed help and relief in the name of Christ from a central location in Tokyo. But what Jesus has in mind I believe is so much more, I believe that Jesus will sweep across that land inviting all to surrender unto Him their pain and hopes, and that millions will receive Christ in this generation as Lord. That Japan would become the next spiritual tsunami of the great move of God like in China and West Africa; not a wave of destruction, but rather a wave of healing, hope, and redemption in Christ. Dear Lord, let it be! In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.