When Disaster Strikes
Natural disasters often strike so suddenly that we have hardly a chance to save anything – except perhaps our lives. Our homes and property may be severely damaged or we may lose them altogether; and much of what we had achieved by hard work is gone.
What will give us hope and security when we face such distress or live in fear of when disaster will strike next? When suffering breaks into our lives and threatens to overwhelm us, I have found one short prayer to be very effective:
My Father, I do not understand You, but I trust in Your love.
If we pray like this, we will be filled with peace, because we are surrendering our will to God, even though we can no longer understand Him. But how do we reach the point where we can humble ourselves like this under God’s mighty hand? – By holding fast to the assurance that He is love, nothing but love. In His love for us He let His Son endure immeasurable suffering, even death on the cross, that we might be saved. It is because God loves us that He leads us along difficult pathways. By disciplining us, He wants to draw us to Himself and to show us His grace, especially during times of distress, so that we can say with the Psalmist:
„My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. “ (Psalm 73:26 RSV).
Then suffering loses its power over us. Satan, who tries to make us rebellious and to turn us against God in such situations, is forced to give way. Our experience will be:
Even if we lose everything else, we can never lose God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Having Jesus in our hearts is the greatest treasure there is, and no disaster can rob us of Him. If we have Him, we have all we need, for He has the power to rescue us from our plight or to help us in it. If we believe this and trust in His love, we will experience His help and love in suffering more than ever, as well as wonderful instances of His protection.
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M. Basilea Schlink
© Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary
POB 13 01 29, 64241 Darmstadt, Germany