“For He has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned His back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.” (Psalms 22:24, NLT) As I awoke this morning, the news from Haiti continues to paint a much more grim picture – a death toll climbing possibly as high as 200,000 people. Behind each statistic in that figure was a face with a soul – a mom and a dad, an Aunt and an Uncle, a brother and a sister, a cousin, a missionary, a neighbor, a doctor, a fireman, a businessman, a teacher, a policeman, a farmer ,a neighbor and so many more! Real people whose dreams will be unreached, ambitions forever lost, goals left unmet, plans never to be made, visions unseen, and promises unfulfilled, All of these and so many more represented in a simple estimate involving a six digit number – 200,000+! The grief and deep suffering of this already poverty-stricken nation is being felt like an emotional shockwave which is traveling throughout the world via pictures electronically beamed – often in real time - into our homes, across the internet and into iPods and cell phones and across every printed newspaper headline. As I sit here at my desk this morning, I feel a sense of numbness as I try to comprehend the level of devastation and staggering loss of human life within the last seven days from fellow “neighbors” in this shared world which God has created for us all to live upon. I have been reflecting back on September 2005 when I served for six days as a Chaplain on the first Baptist Disaster Mission Team into Gulfport, Mississippi following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. There I had the honor to serve in His name people who had lost everything, many grieving for the loss of loved ones, friends, neighbors as well as the loss of their homes, their places of work and even entire communities. Hurricane Katrina served as one of our nation’s worst disasters, with over 1,800 lives lost and levels of destruction never before seen upon our nation’s shores. Yet the cries being heard from the Haitian people this morning are near deafening – most awaking to yet another day of rising death tolls and a society which has literally collapsed all around them, and for many, on top of them. Yet amidst all the pain and suffering is One who lovingly declares, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles.” (Psalms 34:17, Amplified Bible) The Message translation for that verse reads, “Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.” Despite the historic devastation for this little nation – the near incomprehensible levels of lives lost, the destruction of homes, businesses and entire communities – God is still at work and through it all His love is being / will be poured out through those who at this very moment are valiantly serving at ground level in this epic disaster. Pray for His protection, His provision, His power and His peace to experienced through what the enemy surely wants to claim as a victory (John 10:10a). God is faithful and hears the prayers of His people – may we serve as intercessors of our Christian faith that is to be lived out BOTH in word and deed, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18, NLT) Pray for His eternal, unchanging love (Romans 8:37-39) to be released and seen in everyone who responds to the cries of an entire nation in mourning today and for God’s promises for renewed Hope to come to a nation this morning filled with many who look around from the destruction surrounding them and feel an overwhelming sense of ‘hopelessness!’ …Selah!
The Lord placed today's song in my heart immediately following the devotion, yet I was unable to find the original tract. I did find a young man who was singing it while in a park as a prayer to God, and have included it here to bless today's WOTD which He has given us, "Hear My Cry Oh Lord."