Haiti, My Beloved
- Friday, January 22, 2010
We will not mourn as those who don't know Christ, however. We have a Savior who promised to comfort us in Matthew 5:4. We have a Lord who will turn our mourning into dancing again, and One who will lift up our sorrow. We have a Messiah who came to seek and save the lost. We have a Redeemer and Friend who is very familiar with pain and trials and who has overcome death and the grave. We have a God who holds the key of David. "He is the Lord, the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope and wait in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:28-31).
So our mourning will be like that of Jesus over his friend Lazarus. We must cry out to God and watch God's miraculous hand perform wonders before our very eyes. He will restore us and the people of Haiti as we call on His name. When we reach the point of complete depletion, when it feels like we are hitting a wall, the Lord kindly brings us to place of restoration.
Throughout this painful week, Psalm 80 has been a source of real comfort to me. There is a refrain from that Psalm which is repeated three times. It is found in Psalm 80:3, 7, 19, "Restore us, O God, make your face shine upon us that we may be saved." I'd like to suggest that each one of us needs to be restored by God and in God on an ongoing basis and that, in itself, is a huge blessing. My beloved Haiti needs restoration and that will take place when the whole nation cries out to God in humility.
Let me share some of the thoughts that came to mind:
- Restoration is the act of mending the rags of our lives into complete and beautiful garments of praise for the glory of our Lord. Rags present themselves in all kinds of shapes and sizes (besetting sins, self-righteous acts and huge mishaps), but ultimately the Lord uses them in His bigger plan to restore us into a powerful witness of His grace.
- Restoration is the process whereby God shines His light and the fullness of His dazzling brilliance onto the deepest pockets of darkness in our lives.
- Restoration is the act of God revealing to us the hope of glory and the mystery of Christ: He came to seek and save disobedient souls through the sanctifying work of His blood on the Cross.
- Restoration is the necessity for us to recognize our destitution, confess our sins which wage war with God, repent from the foolishness of our ways, embrace the solid faith that purifies, and proclaim to the world God's plan for salvation.
Once restoration happens, "then we will not turn away from you, [O God]; revive us and we will call on your name" (Psalm 80:18). So, restoration is the hand of God moving (giving us Jesus Christ). From Christ, spiritual blessings flow into us giving us a desire for Him. Desiring God is the place that keeps us steadfast in His love, away from worthless idols (Jonah 2:8). Once God handpicks us, chooses us, we can call on His name and clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col. 3:12).
It is this restoration that will give us the strength to help those in need in Haiti. There are numerous charities that help channel funds into Haiti from around the globe, and if you feel led to contribute, I know God will bless your efforts. People are in need of water, food, shelter, security. They have been severely damaged emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. Kids have become orphans and parents have become childless. The new daily grind involves coping with the stench of decomposing bodies, the desperate search for loved ones, the agonizing wait for aid, the fear of looters, the despairing cries of a hungry and thirsty child, and the pervading chaos of the entire southern part of Haiti. Immediate help is necessary and welcome.
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