Monday, May 19, 2008

Stopping to Pray

China stood still. Sirens wailed. Citizens mourned tens of thousands of earthquake victims in the country's deadliest disaster in a generation.

An estimated 1.3 billion citizens came to a halt for three minutes at 2:28 p.m. (1:28 a.m. CT)—exactly one week after the magnitude 7.9 quake hit central China. Chinese officials fear as many as 50,000 people may have died in the earthquake and the aftershocks that have continued over the last week.

Just today, I heard that as many as 200 aid workers and rescuers have died in a mudslide as they were trying to locate people buried in the earthquake. The devastation simply continues to get worse.

I commend the Chinese people for stopping to remember those who have lost their lives. I commend them for praying.

I would encourage all believers to pray for the continued search effort. Pray for the safety of those searching. Pray for miracles of people being found alive. Pray for the government to be open to people of faith coming in to help. Pray for God's name to be praised during this time of trial and turmoil. Pray for redemption of millions of souls who have never heard the name of Jesus in China. May God's name be lifted, praised, and honored!

Romans 8:28 comes to mind at this point: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (NIV)."

Read that verse carefully. It never says that only good things happen to those God loves. The Bible clearly tells us that. Read the story of Moses, David, Paul, even Jesus. Bad things do happen to good people. Bad things happen to really good people! But, that's not the point of Romans 8:28. Even when bad things happen, God still works. Even when bad things happen, God is still on His throne! He never fails. He never falters. He never forgets!

When the earthquake happened, where was God?

Simple. God was in the same place He has always been--on His throne. He will work through this event as He does in all events. He will work His miracles among the Chinese people.

May today's prayers be the beginning of that work!

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