New Life Emerges from Disaster

Posted: February 9th, 2023

Who could have imagined any joy amidst the horror and destruction caused by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake along the border of Turkey and Syria three days ago on Monday, February 6, 2023? Yet, a day after, as rescue workers desperately searched under rubble to find survivors, a newborn baby girl was pulled out alive.

Whilst reading the story on the BBC’s website, a feeling of joy swept over me. After hearing of deaths rapidly rising into multiple thousands, news of this one newborn lifted my spirit and reminded me that the Creator God still offers us hope amidst our worst experiences.

The infant’s survival was clearly miraculous. The news reported that shortly after the earthquake, her mother went into labour and gave birth. Along with her husband, four siblings and another relative, the mother perished as the building collapsed. When the baby was found, she was still attached to her mother by the umbilical cord. Doctors are hopeful that she will survive. Meanwhile, at the time of writing, over 19,500 have lost their lives, countless others are injured and many thousands are left, without water, and homeless in winter.

Some people are again asking, “Where is God? Why does He let these terrible disasters happen?” Meanwhile, others, finding comfort in familiar expressions, shrug their shoulder and say, “Well these are signs of the end. What can we expect? Worse is to come!” A few may even go as far as saying, “It’s God’s punishment for sin!”

I don’t have the answers, and I refuse to pass off these terrible events with a response that ignores the pain and trauma people are experiencing. I have my own questions to ask God and I argue with Him why He allows the consequence of sin to wreak such havoc on our world. However, I’m not God. I cannot see what He sees or understand what He knows, but I can take hope in the promise that He’ll soon end all these things.

While we long for the time when “there will be no more death” (Revelation 21:4), it’s not enough for us to feel sorry for the victims of earthquakes, wars and famine. No, such sentiment is useless unless it moves us to reach out to people in our community who need help. Our tears must move us to action right where we are. We cannot do any less because the two fundamental principles that govern the life of a follower of Jesus are, to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Imagine, just as the newborn was saved from the rubble and represents hope for the future, the help we give to others may also give them hope for the future with Jesus Christ as their Saviour.