Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers on the Eve of Daylight Saving Time

So it's the eve of another switch to Daylight Saving Time. I love having more daylight to enjoy after I get home from work but I hate how time changes like this always affect me and throw me off whatever rhythm I have established. Plus I miss that hour of sleep more and more as I grow older.

But really that's not what's on my mind. Yesterday it was all over the news about the 8.9 earthquake in Japan which was bad enough, but then it was followed by a terrifying and deadly tsunami that swallowed up whole villages and everything in its path... and all we could do was watch from the helicopter's point of view as the footage became available. Millions of people don't have power or water and now they are afraid one of the nuclear reactors will have a meltdown. They're even broadcasting a cartoon on Japanese TV that shows people what to wear to protect themselves from fallout. Unreal and hard to ignore.

And yet we go on with our lives as if everything was normal. Even the Santa Cruz Harbor sustained an estimated $14 million in damages. The surge was only 3 feet high but it did that much damage. That was a deadly earthquake and tsunami that reverberated across the Pacific Basin to Hawaii causing flooding in Maui and damage on other islands; then at speeds of over 500 mph it launched across to the west coast of the United States. Four people were washed out to sea because they were too close to the shore, ignoring the warnings of everyone in the emergency services and the police departments that told them not to go there. What is this morbid fascination we have with things like this?

Coverage of Santa Cruz Harbor damage was even nationwide as NBC Nightly News did a live report from there. Ironic thing is the reporter was a guy who used to work as a reporter for the local NBC affiliate in Salinas, so he is familiar with the area.

I decided to take some time off from work to de-stress and I couldn't stop watching the news coverage all day yesterday. I don't have cable so I watched what I could online. There were a lot of live broadcasts to be found because of the sheer magnitude of the story. The death toll is already over 1000 and it will likely be much more when all is said and done... which will take a long time to sort out. It's overwhelming to me and I'm just an observer. I cannot begin to imagine what those people who have thus far survived
(I know that sounds weird but there will be more fatalities unfortunately) are feeling, thinking, wondering and all the trauma they are experiencing right this moment.

Thing is, how can anyone see all that this world is going through and not wonder about our own mortality? How can anyone not wonder what is really going on here? The Bible foretells of these things happening in the last days. The days before Jesus returns to the earth to take His bride off of this earth and up to His home and their home in heaven with Him. His bride consists of those who are His church, the ones who have put their faith in Him and believe in what He did on the cross at Calvary... that finished work that makes the believer in Jesus Christ fully pardoned from their sin.

Jesus is the answer to all that ails this world. Jesus is the answer for those people living in the uncertain aftermath of the devastation and terror of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan. Jesus is the answer for anyone who will honestly say that they are a sinner and in need of forgiveness by God. There is none righteous, not one, the Bible tells us. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. God loved us so much that He saw our condition in sin and sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to live a sinless life and die in the place of every soul.

I can't help but think that God is trying to get our attention. My prayer tonight is that many will turn to Him and really seek Him while He may be found. And that we, His bride, will take our calling more seriously than ever before. These are perilous times. That's what Pastor Ted has been telling us at church for weeks. The time is short and the time is now.

It is hard for me to ignore these "birth pangs" that are happening all around us in the world. May the Lord, our God and Creator stir the hearts of all the people to look to Him. May He soften hearts that are hardened to their own sin and to their own need for His grace, His atonement and His love in their lives. I don't have the answers, but I know the One who does. Without Him, there is no hope.

May God have mercy on the weary souls who need His touch right now. May He make His love and His presence known to them even now. May the people turn to Him and bow their knees and hearts to the One who loves them more than they could ever imagine or hope to be loved.

None of us knows if we even have a tomorrow. Now is the time.