Sunday, October 17, 2010

Haiti: The Hope

"Before them the earth shakes,
the sky trembles,
the sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
The Lord thunders at the head of his army;
his forces are beyond number,
and mighty are those who obey his command.
The day of the Lord is great;
It is dreadful.
Who can endure it?
'Even now,' declares the Lord,
'return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.'
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity."

Joel 2:10-13

If you'd like to, you can read the first 3 parts of my Haiti Journey here: The Heartbreak, The Joy, and The Work. Now for the best way to end things, with Hope:

I was in the middle of Beth Moore's study of Esther when I went to Haiti. This was certainly no accident. In week four, she refers to several verses in Joel. These verses (above) were absolutely what I needed to read while I was there, so that I could experience hope rather than despair in light of what I was seeing and experiencing.

Beth Moore says this: "God had told his people from the time of Moses that He'd protect them and fight their battles for them as long as they worshipped Him only. If they forgot Him, He would still love them but He would not shield them. Instead, He'd use their enemies to turn His people back to Him."

I don't know whether God caused the earthquake in Haiti, but I know that He allowed it to happen. I don't know why Haiti, I certainly don't believe that the people there are any more wicked than the rest of us sinners. But I do know that God is just, loving, gracious and compassionate. And I know that He will use whatever means He needs to return our hearts to Him.

After reading these verses on my air mattress on the cement floor of a Haitian school, I was comforted. Because there is a revival happening in Haiti. Souls are returning to their father.

The next day, I heard a woman's story of her experience during the earthquake. I can't properly tell the story, nor explain how much it moved me. But what I remember most is that she told us that after the earth stopped shaking, there was a beat of silence, and then a terrible wail went up throughout the city of Port Au Prince (and the rest of the country, no doubt.) A weeping and mourning in the land, the likes of which she had never heard before and would never forget.

And with weeping and mourning, we return to Him. He relents from sending calamity, but He will. So that we can spend an eternity with Him, laughing and dancing. That is the hope, my friends.

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