The world is witnessing yet once again, how deadly and devastating the forces of nature can be. Philippines has been the victim of yet another Typhoon: Haiyan. Estimates place deaths over the 10,000; refugees over the 125,000, and the disappeared over 20,000. My heart aches for my brothers and sisters in Philippines.
Being from, Puerto Rico I have lived through several hurricanes including the infamous Hugo in 1989, and I know first hand what Philippines is going through. Hugo came with the force of 150 mph winds (241 kph), and lots of rainfall. It left behind no running water and no electric energy; but that was not the major tragedy. Entire neighborhoods wiped away leaving them “houseless”; but believe me, as hard as it is, this was not the major tragedy. The major tragedy was that there were hundreds who didn’t know where their children, parents, siblings, relatives were; not even if they were alive.
In Philippines right now, there are thousands who have lost the little they have achieved after having worked for it all their lives, and now have little, if no, faith. This is the tragedy: emotional and spiritual loss is extremely painful and heartbreaking because it kills all hope.
This situation usually brings up the question, “If God is love, where is he?” “Why didn’t he stop this from happening?” I refuse to answer this untimely and unnecessary question, yes you read correctly: refuse, untimely and unnecessary. This is not the moment for us to play philosophy games trying to outsmart X or Y denomination. This is the time to pull hands together, and do all we can to ease the pain of our fellow neighbors. This is the time to realize that if every other day of the year we would come together as individuals and as nations, and reach deep into all our resources, like we will do now, the losses in Philippines would be much, much less.
God has never promised we will not suffer, but he does promise that he will be with us as we go through it, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Is. 43: 2) This verse is incorrectly applied many times. This is not just an unconditional promise of protection from any harm. It also means that as long as we keep our trust in God, nothing will be able to destroy our faith and resilience; it means that we can withstand anything with God’s help, “I can do all things through Christwho strengthens me.” (Phil. 4: 13)
Despite what we may understand circumstances seem to say, I know that God is suffering and crying, not for, but with the Philippines. He is not sitting on a distant throne room somewhere in the vast universe; God is walking among them, the same way he did it in the person of Jesus Christ many years ago. God is comforting their souls with small and large miracles evidence of his loving providence, and waiting to give himself even more through you and me. Please pray for the Philippines, but also give of your resources as well; “talk the talk and walk the walk.”
Soon our church will be informing through this website how you can help us help more.