By Not Known
The recent monsoon has cut a disastrous swathe through Asia. China has been badly affected but seems to be handling it well. Not so Pakistan. Imagine a land area 343 times the size of Singapore under water. Imagine double the total population of Singapore being displaced by floods and now facing the danger of disease. And all this in a country ill-equipped to cope with normality, let alone a disaster on such scale.
Some may see the floods as God’s judgement for the increasing persecution of Christians in Pakistan. It is not our part to presume on such conclusions. Jesus rejects the grim logic that draws a necessary connection between suffering as judgement for sin (eg Lke 13:1-5; Jn 9:1-3).
Others again may see these floods as a sign that the end times are upon us and that Jesus is about to return. Well, Jesus may return any time (Matt 24:36-44). However, we have been in the end times since Jesus’ resurrection and natural disasters such as floods have been part of the warp and woof of human experience since the Fall (Gen 3:17b; Matt 24:6-8).
Donor fatigue is a real danger in situations like this. The world wearies of giving again and again to needy people in distant places. Let it not be so among the household of faith (Gal 6:10). Let us consider the unwearied love of God for his world and respond by a ceaseless care of the needy for his sake (Matt 25:34-40). Let us give as Christians: secretly (Matt 6:2-4); according to ability (2 Cor 8:3); willingly (2 Cor 8:12); generously (2 Cor 9:6); and cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7).
Let us give not just with our hands. It is good to give with our hands and we should do so. However, if we only give with our hands there is a real danger of a detached heartlessness in which we do no more than a charitable duty. So let us consider the heartfelt giving of the Lord Jesus for us (2 Cor 8:9) as we excel in the grace of giving (2 Cor 8:7). Let us give from the heart. And let us give our heart, through earnest prayer that the world will be generous to Pakistan; that the relief effort will be effective, that the donated money and supplies will get through. And let us also pray for the beleaguered Christian community in Pakistan: that it will not be discriminated against in the relief effort and that Christian people there will open their hearts and hands to their neighbours.
I commend our church’s relief appeal to you.