Just before bed last night, my husband was quickly checking the news online and exclaimed to me: "There's been a tsunami in Japan!"
We watched in horrified silence at some raw footage posted by a BBC informant that had been uploaded a very short time after the tsunami hit. Cars were floating in a bloated river of water that was filled with the debris of decimated homes and shops. Large apartment complexes were engulfed in flames. Another tragedy, to be added to a long list of this decade's tragedies.
Since my husband and I were married, close to 13 years ago, we have witnessed a lot of catastrophes together. I clearly remember the morning of 9/11, just as millions of other people could tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news.
I was a week overdue with my second baby. Dan had felt quite ill that morning, and stayed home from his office job in downtown Calgary. I was about to turn on the morning children's shows on PBS for our nearly 2 year old daughter, when I saw the horrifying scene on TV.
I remember sitting with my husband, thinking - it could have been us! What makes us so different from those people? I thought it ironic that he had stayed home from his own downtown, high-rise office job when we were watching a high-rise office building plummet to the ground.
Seeing humans come against tragic events makes you feel small and frail. It is a sobering thought to know that with all of our technology and money and power and influence, we are unable to stop the force of nature.
We are weak, we are human. We all desire the same sense of security.
Back in my teen years, I sought security outside, running wooded paths whether it be rainy or cold. I would run hard and long, until my muscles burned and my feelings seemed to be released in the exertion.
Sometimes feeling secure is found in the company of a loved one - knowing that you have someone beside you who might not be able to make it better, but they won't leave you on your own.
The security I find in God is usually grasped in a quiet, still silence. I am alone, but not alone. My heart is aching, but I know that Someone hears my silent cry.
For some reason I often hesitate to go to God when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I *know* He is the first place I should run to when there's trouble and hurt and stress in my life, but I'd rather slog my way though with self-pity or, go in a completely different direction and become the martyr and glutton for punishment, than give it all up to Him. Whether you choose to give up (not looking for help from God) or choose to grit your teeth and just be strong when the storms of life come, both responses are lacking and won't keep you going indefinitely. We all come to the end of ourselves at one time or another.
When I come to my senses, and remember to look to the ultimate Helper, I am not disappointed. When is the last time you ran to Him with your concerns? When the going gets tough, how do you usually respond?
Jesus told us that this world would be a tough place to exist in. Even as a Christian, you can attempt to forage through life on your own, with occasional acknowledgment of God's involvement in your life. This isn't what was offered to us in our faith walk, however. He promises to never leave us or forsake us - even if you mess up. (Hebrews 13:5,6, 2 Timothy 2:13)
I am constantly strengthened and encouraged by Jesus' words to us in Matthew 11:28-30.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
If we are willing to submit to Him and do things His way, there is rest for our souls. Knowing that there is a God who has a better perspective and handle on things is comforting.
I will run to Him.
His huge outstretched arms protect you - under them you're perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. -Psalm 91:4 (The Message)