Summary: This message is a response to the crisis in Haiti. May God bless and provide for those who are suffering there and may we be His hands and feet!
God’s Hand in Haiti
What happened in Haiti this week has shaken the entire world. As the scenes and stories of destruction keep coming in from the news media and the faces of these poor hurting people splash across our computer and TV screens into our comfortable homes; who is not shaken by this? Estimates of 140,000 dead… bodies stacked in the streets… desperate family members digging by hand through concrete rubble, hoping against hope to find their loved ones… multitudes of wounded and dying lying in misery in fields or the streets without food or water for days… helplessness as far as the eye can see… and the earth continues to tremble reminding everyone there of the uncontrollable forces that have worked such destruction and death.
Questions immediately arise. Some are very uncomfortable: How does a Christian deal with all of this? Is God’s hand at work in Haiti? Is this simply a natural disaster that has nothing to do with God at all? If God IS at work in this, what does He want us to do?
We who believe in a sovereign God who created all things and who is in control of this universe have little choice but to accept the harsh reality of not only the disaster in Haiti, but also the hand of God in it. To believe otherwise would mean things about God that would ultimately undermine the very meaning of the Christian faith and the truth of God’s word. Instead of blaming God or defending God in the midst of this, our first duty is to bow before God, to pray for those who suffer, to listen to God and to respond obediently with both physical and spiritual aid. God’s word tells us in Proverbs 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
Let us pray: Our Father in heaven, holy is your name. We worship you, Father, the maker of heaven and earth. We acknowledge you as the One in whom we live and move and have our very being. Father, through Jesus Christ, your Son you have taught us to ask and we will receive, to seek and we will find, to knock and the door will be opened. Your word tells us that you love us so much you gave your only begotten Son who died for us, took our punishment and paid for our sins, who was buried and who rose again and reigns with you as our King and Lord. Father, you call everyone to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, to enter his death, burial and resurrection through baptism and to obey him as our Lord and receive all spiritual blessings in him.
Father, your word tells us that you work all things together for good to those that love you and are called according to your purposes. We believe your word is true. By your grace to us you are our God and we bow before you. Father, we come before you and lay before you our petitions for the people of Haiti. I will not speak for all who are here, but I believe your hand is in all of this. I believe that you are drawing our attention to the terrible condition of these people so that your word may spread and souls may be saved that would never have come to know you apart from this terrible disaster. Father, the images we have seen have stirred our hearts and minds. Please show us what you would have us do and give us courage and faith to do it.
Father your eyes see the true condition of our world every minute. You see the millions who die every day without Christ and without hope. While we sit comfortably in our homes and enjoy the benefits of our bounty, you see the tragedies and destruction of sin that goes on all around us. This week we are shaken to awareness by this earthquake in Haiti, made deeply aware of the frailty of life and the misery of suffering. Open our eyes even wider, Holy Father, to see the lost condition of souls all around us. Shatter our complacency and shake us free from the stupor of worldliness. May we enter your service as saints are supposed to do so. May we join together as the body of Christ and answer the cry of the needy and poor with sacrificial offerings of time, money and prayer. As we lift the Haitian people to you in prayer, Father, please hear the cries of the suffering; open their hearts to Jesus Christ, the true bread of life and water of life. Bless your church to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to these people. Most importantly, may many souls that would be lost forever without hope and without Christ be rescued from the dominion of darkness, saved from sin’s grip of death and destruction and transferred to the kingdom of your beloved Son, as they hear the gospel of your grace and follow our Lord and only Savior, Jesus Christ… in whose name we pray. Amen.