Our country is not having a great year.
At the start of the second half of the year, whistle blowers uncovered the dirty tactics by politicians and their friends. The name Janet Napoles and Ben-hur Luy suddenly became household names. Then come the protests and the rallies against corruption in the government. Some of you here may have been present to that peaceful rally. A lot of us discovered how where our taxes really go and how these people get richer by the millions. Weeks later, one by one, the PDAF scam brought out names of some of our top leaders. Senators whom we elected to foresee our country’s growth and not its demise. We now know who to blame. We know understand that money is dirty.
Are you scratching your heads now? Getting stressed?
A few weeks later, the MILF faction drew blood and made Zamboanga a warzone. It lasted for several weeks almost taking over the headlines from the Napoles and the PDAF scandals. Lives were lost. Blood was shed. All of it for petty reasons. It wasn’t a religious claim after all. It was a political claim. One man, one group, trying to grab a small fraction of the nation by force, thinking that this is their right. Now we learn the evils of greed, power and anger. Now, we all know that power and the craving for it leads to bloodshed and tears.
All the while, the PDAF case is still on going.
Weeks later, the earth shook and devastated a huge portion of Bohol and Cebu. After shocks which lasted for more than a week were felt after the 8.1 earthquake. Historical sites were ruined. Buildings crumbled. Lives were lost including lives of precious children who were buried in the rubble. People were homeless, hungry and grieving. It was a tragic loss to our country.
I guess you know already where this is going right?
We all struggled to recover. We gave clothes, goods, anything we can offer to those who were badly affected. Some of us here may even have families and friends there.
Not yet recovered from the earthquake, here comes the biggest storm to ever hit the earth. Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda as locally called, is not only in our doorstep but already in our house. I know most of you have been monitoring the weather bulletin since last Monday. Many were already preparing for the coming storm. We were all aware of the doom this will cause us even before it began. We’ve all seen the footages on facebook, twitter, instagram, and many other social media. As of this writing we can only imagine the damage it will leave behind.
These all happened in a span of three months and the year has not yet ended. Expect the worst.
So much for a review of the tragedies in our country. That is the macro picture of what is happening. I know some of you here are seeing problems of your own. I dare not call it micro because these personal problems may seem small compared to what is happening in our country or in the world but they are huge in comparison to us.
Some of us may have departed family members, lost jobs, depleted resources, delayed graduation, lousy neighbors, unrequited lovelifes, and many other personal concerns. Just recently we learned that one of our new YM members lost his dad. It is a tragic sudden loss.
With the weight of all of these things, some might be forced to sit on the ground like Job and wonder what they have done to deserve all of these. Most people with a shaky faith and unsure foundation may find themselves crying and wailing over these events.
But are we like that?
God has shown Job a wonderful answer to all of the problems in this world. In large chunks of the Book of Job, He spoke asking Job, challenging him to tell God how everything works. “Do you know how this works? Can you do this?”
From afar, it seems that God was bragging. But upon closer inspection, He is gently telling Job that He is in control. He created everything and knows how everything works. These calamities may seem to have lives of their own, but God knows how they operate. Marauders, plunderers and criminals may not be mandated or ordered by God but He knows that they are there. He is not blind, deaf or distant from us. He is there. Listening to every prayer. Sending every help possible.
“I was always here, comforting, inspiring, strengthening. Where do you think people would get the strength to overcome sorrow, to fight injustice, to heal the wounds of the body and soul if I were not there to infuse some of My spirit into them?”
– Harold Kushner, The Book of Job.
As humans, it is normal to ask God, contest His presence during every loss, trial and problem. Yet as Christians, it is better if we claim His promises for a better life despite every calamity, or catastrophe that may come. It is a fact for all Christians that we are just passing through. We are just visitors in this planet waiting for our Father to pick us up. So anything that might happen is not something to be feared upon. He will come to pick us up and that is sure.
More importantly, despite everything that has happened, is happening or will happen, one thing is sure. God’s love is with us and will be with us no matter what.