Motivated to pray for Chile

Originally appeared on

When I was a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Africa, I was often awed by the beauty of the mountains and plains, deserts and river valleys, and field upon field of corn or beans. At times I also found the need to seek solace in prayer as these same locations faced floods, droughts, and pest infestation. The village I lived in had some pretty severe winds coming off a nearby lake. One night the winds actually tore the roof off the house next to mine. Through turning to God in prayer, I was able to find a sense of assurance that my home, my community, and I would remain safe. It’s this same motivation to see evidence of God’s care that motivates me as I pray for Chile.

With media reports still talking about recovery from the earthquake in Haiti and now these stories breaking about Chile’s earthquake, it might be tempting to wonder if there is a pattern, or some great cause, maybe even some involvement by God. In the book of Genesis in the Bible, God is presented as telling Adam that "cursed is the ground for thy sake" (Gen 3:17) because of Adam's mistake in eating the forbidden fruit. After an earthquake, one might wonder if it was meant to be a type of destructive “curse” on an otherwise wonderful earth; one that supplies us with food, energy, and resources. But I don’t believe that’s possible.

Apart from verses like those in the third chapter of Genesis, many writers in the Bible speak with the overriding theme of hope and trust that God is not behind destruction. Instead, God is constantly taking care of His children and will continue to do so during difficult times. We can take comfort in the verse from Psalms that describes how God "sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Psalms 107:20). Not only did God heal people of their afflictions, many times they were rescued from the door of death.

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