3 John 8 friend, Dr. Bob Kellemen, has updated a chapter from his book, A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction, to help us biblically process the tragic events of Haiti. He posted it on his blog, and it’s entitled: Searching for God in the Rubble of an Earthquake.
The introduction of the article and links to the full version, as well as many other resources, are below.
Searching for God in the Rubble of an Earthquake*
by Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D.
In terms of the toll of human lives, the terrorist tragedy of 9/11 will likely pale in comparison to the earthquake tragedy of 1/12/10. How do we respond as Christians? Certainly, we can and should respond monetarily, giving graciously. Certainly, we can and should respond prayerfully, praying fervently.
But how do we respond theologically? How do we even begin to decipher the deeper meaning behind 1/12/10? How do we grapple with such immense human suffering in light of our faith in a sovereign God?
What we need are Cliffs Notes—an instruction manual on how not to read life’s grand adventure and on how to read life’s heroic narrative. No one in the Bible is a better reading tutor for the topic of unspeakable tragedy than Job. Join me as we read Job’s grand adventure narrative and learn that God and Satan use the same material—the story of our lives. Whose interpretation of our life story will we believe? Satan’s or God’s?
To interpret Job’s story and ours accurately, we need to understand that God tells it on two levels. We find the smaller story or the earthly, temporal perspective, and the larger story or the heavenly, eternal perspective. Satan desires that we focus only on the smaller story and conclude that “Life Is Bad, and So Is God.” God urges us to focus upon the larger story and realize that “Life Is Bad, but God Is Good.” One of the keys to our spiritual life, especially during times of personal suffering or national tragedy, is to move people from Satan’s view of life toward God’s perspective on this life and the next.
To continue reading this post (it’s long–one can hardly respond to such tragedy in brief, pithy phrases…) visit my RPM Ministries Free Resource document.
*Excerpted and altered from Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction, with permission of the author, Dr. Robert W. Kellemen (www.rpmministries.org, firstname.lastname@example.org). To learn more about Soul Physicians and to read a free sample chapter, visit here: http://bit.ly/2Ha4Am.
3 John 8