When disaster strikes, we have an opportunity to minister. We can learn from the words of Job (Job 30:24-31)
“Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
Or in his disaster therefore cry out for help?
“Have I not wept for the one whose life is hard?
Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
“When I expected good, then evil came;
When I waited for light, then darkness came.
“I am seething within and cannot relax;
Days of affliction confront me.
“I go about mourning without comfort;
I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.
“I have become a brother to jackals
And a companion of ostriches.
“My skin turns black on me,
And my bones burn with fever.
“Therefore my harp is turned to mourning,
And my flute to the sound of those who weep.
We hear the desperation in Jobs words as he cries out for some relief. We know from the Scripture the help does not come in this instance from his “friends”, but only from God.
The natural response when we are hit by a disaster is to cry out for help, as Job did. We, as the church need to be there with a helping hand. Job goes on to say how he wept for those in distress, he cared, and I believe helped others.
Job presents a view we all can easily slide into, we can expect good, and then be overwhelmed when evil comes. The Lord has never promised everything would be easy, just that He will be with us. He will strengthen us. He will guide us. These are promises we can latch onto. These are promises we need to latch onto. These are promises we need to help others latch onto.
Job is so oppressed he cannot rest. Others in a disaster are also unable to rest. One blessing we can bring during a disaster is the ability help others stop and rest, even if for a few moments. The shower units deployed by the Salvation Army are an example, the short respite they provide helps refurbish the soul as well as the body.
Job, who was a very respected leader, is now in a position to cry out for help to others. This is a good example for us, we need to cry out, ask for help. When we cry out this demonstrates any pride we had has gone. We don’t ask for help when we believe we have everything handled, but when we are unable to cope. Pride gets in the way of asking for help, even help from the Lord.
When Job speaks of being a companion of ostriches, was this because he cried out in pain so shrilly he sounded like an ostrich, or was he in the wilderness? Either way, he was in great pain.
Twice in these passages Job cries out for help, we know from the account he only received relief form the Lord. We have an opportunity to be ready to offer an answer in the disaster. When a Christian is ready, they can minister individually, if a church is ready the church can answer with more impact and when a city is ready, then many voices will respond with help.
- Have we ever needed to cry out for help? Who answered?
- When have we heard others call for help? How were we able to respond?
- What new steps will we take to be ready to answer distress calls?