Faith in the Face of Disaster

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Disasters can come in many forms and at any time. There are closely personal ones such as divorce, a grave illness, death, job loss, substance abuse, and financial crisis. There are also natural ones that can affect entire communities such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, and hurricanes.

Often help can come in many forms. For example, consider how government agencies and private industry can help with many of these disasters. Consider the assistance offered by social workers, grief counselors, lawyers, ministers, hospice, insurance companies, the medical profession, and financial institutions as well as family and friends.

Yet, in the still and quiet of the evening, when all is said and done, it is clear and unadulterated faith that will carry the individual through any disaster. People may say that their faith was tested when a disaster occurred. Others may say that their faith was restored when someone or something came to their aid. But are they just indicating that their faith in humankind and relief services was restored?

It is good to have our faith restored in these ways. However, if and when this fails us, are we then just to remain disillusioned? If we do, then perhaps it is because our faith is misplaced. Should not our faith be in our omnipotent God who created all living things? In this way then, we need not ever be disappointed when humankind and relief services do not assist as they should.

When disaster strikes it is more prudent to look at what still remains after the disaster.

For example, you may have lost a spouse through death or divorce, but when one door is closed another is opened. With faith we can be grateful for the years we shared and not dwell on the negative or bad times. We may look at what was gained and learned during the relationship and how this wisdom will help us through the years ahead.

When a home is lost, yet all family members have survived, we are to be thankful because our faith will pull us through such disasters. A house is not a home, yet the family unit that still thrives is the home. Whether we spend the future in a homeless shelter, a hotel, or a tent, our faith will hold the family together in a sense of grateful fulfillment until such time as the home can be rebuilt.

Faith is an essential part of the pilgrimage through the grim and trying times of life that help lead us to the everlasting goodness of sunnier days and happier times. It is the glue that should hold together communities and sustain relationships through the fog of misunderstandings, compromise, tragedies, and missteps.

Keeping the faith is what helps individuals and communities keep their sanity during the uncertain times of a natural or personal disaster. Through it all, faith will make people stronger and more resilient. It is a beacon of light and a sign of hope, fulfillment and the promise of greater and better tomorrows. Without faith, there really is nothing but an empty shelf full of grief, anger, and regret when disaster strikes.

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