Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Praying for our Nation

First it was Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama--among other southern states. This week it was Joplin, Mo and towns in Oklahoma. The heartache is extensive. The death toll continues upward. One woman dropped dead when she learned her father had died in the Joplin storm.
Undoubtedly, many are crying out, "Why us?! What did we do?" The first answer that must be given is that both good things and bad things come to the good and the evil (the righteous and the unrighteous) alike. Many good Christian families were ravaged by these storms. Many morally decent people lost everything. What God will do is show himself through their godly response to the horrible storms and disasters that have now tatooed their lives.
Yes, what is inside of us comes out in the worst of times. If a professing Christ-follower gets squeezed by disaster, like a large-fisted weight lifter may squeeze the juice out of an orange, whatever is in that professing Christ-follower is going to squirt out. If he or she is full of Jesus, then Jesus gets mixed in with the tears and anguish. People around that person see it and marvel at God's peace in that person's life.
But if we profess to follow Christ, but are in fact filled with deception, anger, bitterness, explosive wrath--and the like, then that is what squirts out with our response to disaster and devastation. I would add carefully that some are either thin-skinned or so full of these negative, sinful traits that it flows out rather quickly. Like the recent volcanoes in Iceland, they spew out ash and lava, disrupting things for anyone within miles of them.
While our compatriots suffer these disasters we who are untouched are held responsible to hold them up in prayer. We must pray for the God of peace to unleash His peace in their lives. And we may need to put feet to our prayers when we say, "God bless them!"
But start with praying...