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Lent 2011

Let Us Pray

Day 38

By Inelda Gonzáles, president, Women’s Division

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God's doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

—Philippians 1:21-30

On December 6, 1811, a massive earthquake rolled across the southern United States. The ground cracked and shifted, houses collapsed, mountains spewed forth jets of hot water, and the smell of sulfur filled the air. Suddenly, people across Tennessee and the whole South began to pray. A number of earthquakes followed that big one. When the ground shakes, it is only human to seek that which is unshakable. Philippians 1:21 states: “For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.”

We live in a world where things can be shaken. On January 12, 2010, a horrific earthquake shook Haiti. The shaking of the earthquake lasted from 35 seconds up to a minute. It was the worst earthquake in more than 200 years. It left the country in shambles, with more than 200,000 dead. Later in February, a larger but far less destructive quake hit the South American country of Chile. It was a reminder of how vulnerable we are to natural disasters. While these earthquakes were terrible, they were not the worst in history. The deadliest was in China in 1556, killing an estimated 830,000 people.

For the past few years we have seen a different type of earthquake. The earth shook beneath some of our largest financial institutions as we saw property values drop. We have personal tragedies, automobile accidents, sickness, loss of jobs and random violence. Some of the most important events in life are beyond our control. As life goes on, we learn that control is an illusion. We want to live joyfully and confidently, but we also need to live prepared that someday when we least expect it, our world can be shaken. There are people who devote their lives to keeping the earth stable beneath our feet, those who regulate financial institutions, those who seek new medical discoveries, and those who protect us from terrorism. They have made an impact on society.

When the world about us is frantic with doubt and despair, we have an inner spring of love, hope and tranquility because our trust is in God and He is beyond this world. Let us be thankful and keep our missionaries, deaconesses, home missionaries and home missioners in our personal prayers daily. Pray for those who are celebrating their birthday today and for the ministry of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa: the youth unit in Creighton, South Africa.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, bless those persons throughout the world who are taking your name to those who do not know you so they, too, will worship you with reverence and awe. In your Son’s name we pray. Amen. 

Last Updated: 04/15/2014
 
 

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