It’s hard to describe the emotions felt while watching tsunami waves engulfing Japan in real time. Viewing the before and after images gives a glimpse of the destruction. And yet the loss and human suffering is unimaginable.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, friends, farms, businesses, personal belongings – and their sense of order and security in life. The trauma they have faced, and are continuing to face, seems overwhelming. Oh, that they would turn to the Lord during this time of incredible suffering.

The earthquake that triggered the tsunami has been reported as the most powerful in recorded history. The far-reaching and devastating effects impacted areas as far away as California. And yet, by historic standards, this is a small earthquake and an insignificant tsunami.

Much more catastrophic earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and floods are recorded in the rock layers of history – and according to Scripture, more devastating ones are yet to come. If a local earthquake and resultant tsunami could have such catastrophic effects, how much more multiplied would be the impact of the Flood described in Genesis!

The Genesis Flood was not just a “local” flood, but a world-wide catastrophic cataclysm. It would have completely wiped out pre-flood civilizations and reshaped the surface of the earth. The death toll and the damage are unimaginable. As we witness the devastation done by this relatively “small” tsunami, we can only begin to get an inkling of the destruction caused by the Flood.

In II Peter 3, Peter refers to the reality of the Flood in the past as he warns of the coming judgment. He says it is only God’s loving patience that stays His hand, offering time for repentance. The door is still open, but no one knows when it will close.

The people who perished in the recent tsunami had no idea when they awoke that day that it would be their last day on earth. How important it is to live each day with an awareness of eternity – and to be about our Father’s business, sharing the truth of the Gospel with those who have not yet heard.

Mary Jo Nutting

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