Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Looking at the devastating pictures coming out of Japan has been heart wrenching. To think that thousands of people lost their lives during the quake and resulting tsunami is tough to consider. Japan is the 10th largest population in the world and the 3rd wealthiest as far as economic production goes. Because they are an island nation and the majority of their national power lies near the coastline, a massive unstoppable wave is a nightmare come true for them.
I have friends who are missionaries in Japan and it is extremely difficult spiritual ground. The vast majority of the nation identifies itself as Buddhist or Shintoist but it is more of a cultural religion than one that most people are devoted to. In reality, Japan is an atheistic society that prides itself on wealth through production of goods and services to the world. After the near fatal crippling of the nation after World War II and the help of primarily the United States to get Japan growing again, they became a world super-power. Since that time they have become focused on education and economic growth. Japan is less than 2% followers of Christ.
Unfortunately both education and national wealth cannot stop a natural disaster and cannot prepare anyone who dies from such an event for the eternal reality that happens after death. All of a sudden Japan is in a state of panic after one large earthquake and wave. One. It is amazing to see that one event can bring a nation to its knees in moments. It is a sobering thought to consider that it can happen to any place at any time.
One thing that has not been fully realized yet is the damage to some of the nuclear reactors on the coastline. I heard this morning that radiation has leaked out into the atmosphere surrounding the reactors and people are told to stay inside until it can be dealt with. Although it seems to be low levels at this point it will be interesting to see how people are affected in the coming years as people were during the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear disasters.
Jesus has been reaching out to Japan for centuries. So why would God allow this? Just like in our personal lives, it is often the hardest times that are used to break the hardest hearts. The dark is necessary to see the light. Rarely do wealth and ease produce an acknowledgement of God and the resulting pursuit of His glory. The destruction of pride is necessary to precede the desire for righteousness.
Just as the nuclear reactors are spilling out poison because they have cracked, spiritually I pray that the heart of Japan will crack and the poison of an empty, false belief system will pour out so it can be met with the love of God for the Japanese. I pray that the true Christians in Japan and those around the world who will come into contact with them through this disaster will 'radiate' the love of Jesus and bring many to salvation.
"You are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden" Jesus, Matthew 5:14
Radiate. Glow with the love of God. May it be true of us today.