(This story was related to me by a Japanese pastor who had just returned from the earthquake and tsunami impacted areas. He wept as he told me – through an interpreter – what he had heard from this one grandmother. I tried to capture the story's message accurately.)
"It would have been better if the tsunami had come in the night…"
A 71-year old grandmother shared she was so tired that she could not go on. She related her story about fleeing for her life as the tsunami approached their home. She was able to run to higher ground with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter who were at home with her at the time.
As they fled to some nearby hills and turned around, they watched the debris filled water swallow up their community and their home. The water reached up to the third story of buildings in their small town. They watched as the water engulfed everything in the lower lying areas, as far as they could see.
Then she began thinking about other family members. Where was her husband of so many years? Where was the son that was the family wage earner?
As the weeks have passed, she has dealt with living in government shelters, freezing cold weather, and a lack of basic supplies for daily living. She and her daughter and grand-daughter have moved back into the shell of her destroyed home and trying to put their lives back together. They are resigned to the fact that they will never see their lost family members again. It is hard knowing that there are no bodies for them to bury or even to say prayers over.
Understandably, she is tired. She is tired physically. She is tired emotionally. She is tired spiritually…
It would have been better if the tsunami had come at night, she told the pastor. That way, we would all have been dead and not suffering like this.
Please pray that the people of Japan would find the hope and peace of Jesus in the midst of their incredible suffering. Pray that they would find the comfort of the Great Comforter, the Holy Spirit. And pray that God will make Himself known in this nation even through this terrible disaster event.