What would remain if all was shaken?
What would be left important if all was washed away?
You can't help but hurt for the people of Japan. As if a record setting earthquake wasn't bad enough, then came the waves. The devastation is indescribable. The news footage shows car and houses being washed away with the ease of a garden hose rinsing debris from a sidewalk. What can be lost in the transmission is that, that was some one's car, that was some one's home. They were there, and now they are gone. How fleeting the security of earthly possession's can be.
What would I do if that happened here? If suddenly all was lost, what would I miss? What would I most rejoice in still having?
There is an odd familiarity in the common response of those suffering the loss of their possessions. They then find comfort and hope in the value of their families, the continuation of their relationships. In the absence of things, it seems others rise to the head of importance.
Why does it take a disaster to value families and friendships as they were meant to be? Why are we so easily distracted?
Mankind has suffered from this weakness since the garden. Satan distracted Eve from the goodness of God by drawing her attention towards her own selfish desires. Eve was surrounded by everything good, created by God for her and Adam's enjoyment, yet the serpent managed to focus her attention on the one thing she couldn't have.
Aren't we all guilty of the same thing? Many of us are blessed with spouses and children, friends and other family with whom we could find overwhelming delight in their companionship and love, yet we often find ourselves seeking and longing for just one more thing, just beyond our reach.
But when the waves hit what will we reach for? In that moment, the things that normally preoccupy our mind will be the first to wash away. Gone will be our thoughts of gaining more stuff, or achieving more goals, or earning more money. In that moment of terror, we will grab our wives and kids and then we will reach for our God. We will hold tight to those precious gifts that he has given us, while we cry out to the Giver of all things. There in the midst of uncertainty, we will do the one thing we were certainly made to do - worship God with our prayers and supplications.
When everything is washed away, we find ultimate value in our relationships, with our family and friends, and most importantly our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Why should we wait for the waves?
Here is a prayer for Japan offered by John Piper.