Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Disaster is part of unfortunate occurrence of life. There are diver kinds of natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, landslides and avalanches can happen any time. These are the category of the disasters known as ‘act of God.’ In addition to these, there are also man-made disasters that include stampedes, wildfires, transport accidents, industrial accidents, oil spills, nuclear explosions/nuclear radiation. Very often we witness these disasters all over the world. Disaster may not necessarily discriminate against anyone because bad things can happen to good people at times but those who have power with God can avert disaster and put calamities under control.
In our time we are witnessing wars and rumors of war. we always behave as we are helpless. In panic we run helter-skelter, in pain and sorrow we express our losses and displeasures. Usually, before most of these disasters occur, we heard the rumors of their imminent occurrence. Especially in the days of information super-highway when cable-news and televisions continue their daily ranting, we are aware that the calamities are on their ways. We may not know when the next earthquake, volcanic eruption or tsunamis will occur, but we are aware that hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, drought and wildfires have their time and seasons every year. We may not be able to predict when war may break out between nations, but the erratic behaviors of the super-powers all over the world can provide enough hint that the world is heading towards the third world war. In the twenty-first century both internal and external terrorism are still plaguing our world because of various silly and senseless ideologies.
Abraham knew about the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, he took up the matter with God in prayer and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” (Genesis 18:23-26) Abraham began his supplication and petition before the Living God diligently until he brought the criteria of Lords pardon upon Sodom and Gomorrah from fifty righteous people to the minimum of ten righteous. Even though the two cities could not boast of 50 righteous people, the few righteous among them were delivered and escape the disaster.
In the day of Esther, she did not settle for less and seat comfortably in the king’s palace as the Queen of the most powerful empire of her time when she learnt that Israelites in Shushan were facing imminent destruction in the hand of the Haman the Agagite. She said, “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.” (Esther 4:16-17) With faithful and fervent prayer of the people of God, the Lord turned the battle against their enemies and Haman was hung in the gallows he prepared for the people of God.
At the shore of Red Sea, the horrific war pursuit of Egyptians was raging. The armless Israelites civilians were sandwiched between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army. There was no means of escape. The people were in a state of quandary. Pandemonium, panic and fear were not enough to describe their desperation. But Moses, the man of God knew that, they were at the shore of the Red Sea at the command of God as part of the plan of God to deliver Israelites from the hand of the Egyptians. He knew that God will not bring them thus far and abandon them to die at the shore of the Sea. He stood up in the midst of the people of God and declared, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14) The Lord honored the prayer of His servant and He parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to go through in safety on a dry land, but all the pursuing Egyptians army perished in the Red Sea.
The scripture tells us in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
There is one common denominator why all the faithful people of God went out of their ways to seek the face of God in the day of adversity. It was because of the love and sincere concern they all have for humanity. It was because of the efficacy of faith they had in their relationship with God. The scripture revealed this nature of love and it says, “Love is patient and kind. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” God desires and sought for someone to “stand in the gap before Him for the land, that He should not destroy it…” (Ezekiel 22:30). Patiently and humbly with the heart of kindness, these faithful servants stood in gap before God. They went to the Lord in prayer trusting in the enduring faith in His word. They cried Abba Father, pleading that the mercy of God may prevail that the disasters may be averted. They had their desired answer through the compassionate mercy of the Heavenly Father. God is still answering the prayers of His people. Let us combine our spiritual sensitivity with our environmental knowledge and cry unto God to save and heal our land.
Oh Merciful Father, make me a faithful and concerned watchman in your vineyard. Endow me with a sincere burden to trust in your grace to cry Abba Father unto you in the day of imminent disaster upon humanity so that your mercy will prevail to avert destruction of souls. In this season of hurricane and other natural disasters in United States and all over the world save the souls of your people in Jesus name, Amen.