While we here in America sit back and let the politicians entertain us, others a mere stone's throw from this nation are enduring the worst "hell" can throw at them. Some hardened cynics would say that Cuba "deserved" the horrible damage inflicted upon it by hurricane Gustov. Some would say that Haiti "deserves" the unbelievable pounding it is receiving from hurricane Hanna. I say, only God is allowed to pass judgment on nations and the citizens of them.
Did New Orleans "deserve" the wrath poured out on it by Katrina? Was the sin of New Orleans really any worse than that of Las Vegas or San Francisco? Did good upright and extremely righteous people who lost everything in New Orleans three years ago commit "secret sins" which God punished by breaking levees? Dear people, only God knows the answers to these questions and it is merely fodder for discussion for anybody to say they can speak for Him.
Here is a link to some current pictures taken of Gonaives, Haiti's second largest city. If these were taken of an American city, there would be a great outpouring of attention and prayer for those involved. But, since this is Haiti, no one either knows or cares.
Yes, Hanna may end up yet causing major flooding in certain areas of North Carolina, Virginia or New England. But, whatever flooding might occur, it pales in comparison to what those living in one of the poorest countries on earth are enduring. First Gustov dumped copious amounts of rain on the country and then Hanna has basically lingered so long those living there must be looking for rainbows to assure them of God's promise.
I have sat with people who claim to be Christians and shown them pictures of devastation beyond description in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana from Katrina; and the response was a resounding "so what" or "what does that have to do with me?" I have sat down with people and shown them pictures of Greensburg, Kansas I took less than a week after the tornado there and they were moved with only the same interest expressed while watching the evening news.
Yet, these same people, who are unmoved by any disaster afflicting someone they do not know, will gladly run to help someone they do know. As logical as this sounds, it does not fulfill the mission statement laid out by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus did not use the parable to tell people that they should only take care of friends and relatives. That entire section of Matthew is referring to strangers and those whom society deems least important.
My friends, there is so very much suffering going on in our world today that no one knows about. Whether in Africa, Asia or North America; there are millions upon millions of people of all faiths and races who are starving, dying of thirst and have no clothing or shelter to protect them. Perhaps we have seen so many images of kids with ribs sticking out that we are immune. Perhaps we have heard of so many tragedies in so many countries we close our ears and refuse to hear of any more.
As tempting as it is to turn away and tell someone else to get involved; it is not what Christian love is all about. How can we say that we love one another if we do not show compassion toward one another? "But you don't understand, I have no money" or "I must work three jobs to pay the mortgage". These are good reasons for perhaps not volunteering to go help out in Haiti, but what about helping at the local food pantry? What about helping deliver meals to the elderly shut-ins? What about visiting those who have been demoted to the prisons called nursing homes.
There are so many avenues in which to give and serve if a person WANTS to. Being totally honest, when a person does not give to another in need, it is a sign of a deep rooted lack of love. When compassion is unable to be manifested it is a sign of being fed too much and not having any release for the love in our hearts. God did not bless us to hoard the blessings. God blesses us so we can bless others. It is that simple.
Whatever God has blessed you with, share it with someone else and you will receive the full blessing intended. Keep it to yourself and you might be blessed, but you will never be the blessing God intended all along. Why would God make someone rich? So they can live in mansions and sit around all day counting their riches? If God blesses someone with material abundance I can guarantee you it was to be shared with those who have need. God gives so that we have to give. God gives more so that we have more to give. We can never out give God for He will always give back more than we could ever give.
Due to political conventions, worries about upcoming hurricanes and the beginning of football season; there has been very little interest in finding out what REALLY happened with hurricane Gustov. Since New Orleans wasn't flooded, most people have falsely assumed there was no major damage. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many are downplaying hurricane Hanna and are saying don't worry about it. This may be true, but I can assure you there will end up being thousands of people whose entire lives will be altered by the storm through flooding, tornadoes or wind damage. Every day in every city in every country there are hurting people who not only need to hear about Jesus, they need someone to show them the love of Jesus expressed through compassion acts of giving and service. Please, my fellow Christian brothers and sisters do not close up your bowels of compassion, but rather open them fully.
Very Great blog Blessing2you,,you have inspired me this Friday morning, to look at, what God has blessed me with ,I dont have alot,compared to alot of people,but I can say without a doubt in my mind that God has bless me beyond measure, and I will go and give of my time,love to others that normally I would not have given to. We give to our churches and our tithes and offerings, but never really think about the other things we could do ,,,So thanks for reminding me again of a lost and dieing world. That does need our help in what we can do outside of our boxes in we live in....Anna
I say "Amen" to B2Y's note.
As children of God of Love, we should take every opportunity in these disasters to shed abroad the love of God to the victims.
Yes, it was the Christians from ASEAN who entered Myanmar to give and give of time, blankets, mosquito nets, food, water, torches, etc when even the United Nations, Red Cross and other charitable organizations were not given access by the despotic government and when the U.S. Navy offers of help were spurned. Informal bonds in the underground church had been established and it was via these networks that were most helpful in the recent flood disaster in Myanmar.
It was the Christians of neighbouring Asia Pacific countries who first sent help in the recent terrible earthquakes in China with the Word and love of God working through the underground church. Have heard of many conversions to Christianity by the recipients of such love.
Yes, may the people of God remain compassionate, prayerful, watchful and giving, sharing and loving in these last days of many disasters - when disasters become God's opportunity to show His love to the unsaved when normally entrance of the Word is spurned or hindered. Let's seize the opportunities which arise in the midst of disasters.
The Bible tells us that in the last days that many hearts will grow cold. That does not condone the indifference displayed by many, but it does explain it. Now... that being said. If you can do something, take the time and do it. I've been standing in my authority and speaking against the things myself... that ay not sound compassionate, but think on this... how many people will not have to suffer if we speak against these terrible storms using our authority in Jesus' Name?
something to think about...selah...
Matt. 25:40, Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." I interpet this to mean that the way we treat the ones that are "the least" in our eyes show how we love Jesus the most. When bad things happen to the criminal, the drug addict, or the sexually immoral, it is tempting to judge them and conclude they are getting what they deserve. But notice Jesus calls them "My brethren." The truth is they are sinners in dire need of God's grace, just like me. Since we are all sinners, we all deserve the wages of sin, death. Not just the death we all suffer at the end of this life, but the second death of Revelation 20. But God in His mercy has not given us what we deserve. And since we deserve such a terrible punishment, the fact we have even one good thing in our lives is evidence of His amazing grace. By acting compassionatly towards one who is suffering, even if that suffering is the direct result of their sin, it can open the door for the Holy Spirit to work on their heart that may result in their salvation. It is also incouraging to note that if we fall into these circumstances, Jesus still calls us "My brethren."
Excellent insight "truthlover" into the heart of Matthew 25:40. Thank you for sharing that!
Thank you for the other comments on this subject many Christians wish would "go away".