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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

LESSONS OF JOB
(Part 22)

REVISITING ONDOY


November 9, 2009

Today’s psalm (Ps 46:2-9) reading brings us back to the devastating flood wrought by typhoon Ondoy. The psalmist says “its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging” (v.4a). We experienced severe flooding and landslides. A huge landslide happened just outside our compound in Antipolo, which blocked Sumulong Highway with big boulders, muddy earth and fallen trees.

In the midst of our affliction, when we laid helpless before the onslaught of nature, many rediscovered God. When there was no other place to turn, people turned to God. When the situation seemed hopeless, we found our hope in God. When the earth trembles, it is actually God’s voice that thunders (v.7b).

Indeed, who can figure out the Almighty? Who can fathom the inscrutable ways of God who allows misfortunes to happen, only to bring good out of them?

Time and again, we suffer in the world. But such suffering purifies and is salvific. Such suffering brings us closer to God, makes us more dependent upon Him, leads us to trusting more in Him. If so, then such suffering, even as it causes great pain and affliction, is a blessing and is cause for joy.

What needs to happen is for us to accept that God is just and righteous. Whatever He allows to happen, it is intended to draw us closer to Himself, to set us back on the right track, to focus us on the things that really matter in life.

As such, even in the face of calamities and threats to our physical well-being, we trust and will not be afraid. Why? Because “the Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.” (v.4b). “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea” (v.2-3), “though nations rage and kingdoms totter” (v.7a). If so, then nothing can ever again faze us. Not severe earthquakes or tsunamis, not world wars or global economic crises. Nothing at all.

Occasions such as Ondoy should spur us to evangelize. People need to understand what is truly happening. And people, as they are led to Christ, should find their comfort, consolation and joy in God. When people ask, Where is God in all this?, we must be ready and able to answer: “The Lord of hosts is with us” (v.8a).

Then, in the midst of grief and suffering, we must be able to issue the invitation. “Come and see the works of the Lord, who has done fearsome deeds on earth.” (v.9).

The Almighty! Just and righteous is He.

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Lessons of Job - Part 22[PDF]
 
 
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