Monday, April 4, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

Brian VanderHaak is a dear friend and colleague in Christian education. He is the Headmaster of the Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ) located in Tokyo. He and his staff have been in the center of earthquake activities the past few weeks. He shared with me this devotional prepared for his staff last week, and I am pleased to share with you Brian’s insight and words of truth. Jim

My dear brothers and sisters,

We are all yearning for "this" to be over. But this situation is not only not over, but the not knowing when it will be over grinds on our nerves and sensibilities. And I am not really sure what I mean by over anyway. How will we define that? A rebuilt Japan? Our emotions in order? No more disasters in our lives?

Last night the seniors experienced a major earthquake where they are staying in Thailand. So much for being thankful that they wouldn't need to be here tensing, as we do, every time we feel the slightest vibration. Why do I continue to be surprised that the world is an unsettled place? And in so many more ways than tectonic plates shifting. As I reflect on the moments of shock and surprise in my life I see an endless string of assassinations, natural disasters, riots, natural disasters, war, terrorist acts, natural disasters...

What about my 53 years experience has led me to believe that the stasis of my life is one of tranquility or some kind of "normality"? I have to think it is because there is so much beauty, love, peace and blessed assurance surrounding us, even in this fallen world, that I keep lulling myself into feeling secure with my physical, material life. Then WHAM! Only the spiritual part of my life is on solid ground.

Early on in this current crisis a dear friend, Nate Gibson's mother, posted this verse from Haggai 2 in her blog with a moving commentary about living on unsettled soil wherever we are:

6 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.

Once more, in a little while. But the text doesn't stop there:

7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come,

Wait for it:

and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

We can anticipate no "over" here on earth. This life, for all its delights, remains a veil of tears. But notice that God does intend to fill this house with Glory! He will reclaim those things we superficially consider wealth. And this glory, in this new, unrecognizable place, will be much greater than anything we can imagine. And we will be granted peace - the Lord Almighty declares it. Finally. Completely. Blessed assurance.

Yours in Him,

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