Sunday, March 13, 2011

Are We Experiencing "Groaning Pains"?

As I watch the news I can not help but to once again wonder, "Are we experiencing 'groaning pains'?" In Romans 8:22 it says, "For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." It sure looks like all creation is "groaning". I did a little checking and in 2010 nearly half a million people were killed in natural disasters . . . the devastating earthquake on 1-12-10 in Haiti followed by hurricanes and cholera. In Chili on 2-27-10 they had their earthquake and on 4-14-10 an earthquake hit Yushu, China. Heavy flooding hit Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine in May and June of 2010.  Do you remember last July when heavy rain and flooding hit Pakistan? Sweltering heat sparked more than 800 wildfires in Russia last summer and torrential rains triggered mudslides and created a lake that overflowed on Aug. 8, resulting in mudslides in northwestern China while Peru's temperatures plunged to below -24C.

The natural disasters continued in the Fall of 2010 with a powerful undersea earthquake triggering a tsunami, and the Mount Merapi volcano in central Java erupting on On Oct. 25 and 26. Entire towns were buried in ash. On December 2nd there was a forest fire in Israel and floods and cyclones in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the Philippines, Panama and Venezuela as well as in Costa Rica, Ecuador,Brazil and Australia. These are only some of the places around the world where they experienced natural disasters last year.

Sadly 2010 was a deadly year in regards to natural disasters all over the globe and 2011 seems to be following suit. February 22nd the earthquake hit Christchurch, NZ and March 10th there was an earthquake in Yunnan, China. We are all horrified by the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan the 11th of March and watch the on-going news coverage with a mix of horror and grief.

So how do we look at these disasters? My heart breaks for the people in these countries. So many people died and so many more had their lives literally torn apart. We need to pray for them. We need to give as we are able to ministries such as WorldHelp and Samaritan's Purse so they can go and offer tangible help and more importantly, share Jesus with the ones who survive.

I believe it is very possible these natural disasters are "groaning pains", so if they are - and even if they are not - we need to share Jesus with all we are able - our children's and family ministries must be effective. Our time may be short - we need to redeem the days while we have time to do so.

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