Just like you, I am grieving for the people in Japan. The pictures show the physical destruction but the loss inside each person is much worse. Tragedy. I have already heard the cries, "How would a loving God allow something like this to happen to innocent people!" Then there are those who say that this is God's judgement on "these" people! I heard those cries after Katrina...that God was destroying "those evil people" in New Orleans. (Katrina did NOT hit New Orleans...only the effects of Katrina! Katrina hit along the Mississippi Gulf Coast...so to believe it was God's judgement, means that God's GPS was a little off!!)
Then yesterday a book was released by mega church pastor Rob Bell that says that there is not a real hell and that eventually everyone will be saved no matter what...that God's love is so great He couldn't send anyone to a place like hell.
So which is it? God as a big bad judge who kills people for the fun of it or a God who loves so much that no one has consequences for their actions! You see this is the problem of trying to put God in our own little boxes...putting our own reactions to circumstances into God.
God is God. He is creator of all. He has always been. He holds things together and He is Redeemer. God is Holy and just. He created all things perfectly. In His creation of man, He breathed His own breath so we could have life...but we wanted more than that and reached out for what was forbidden. Thus a fallen world emerged. A world that spins out of control...not because God wanted it that way but because we did. God showed His love by providing a way back to His perfection but just as we chose something other than His way the first time, He allows us to choose His way back.
Choice is a precarious thing...Truth on the other hand is never-changing. Jesus is our way back to God's perfection...but we must choose. We can choose to continue in rebellion or choose a way out. Rob Bell doesn't want to have to make a clear choice...he wants it both ways. He has not read the same scripture I have.
The tragedies of earthquakes and tsunami's are not God's judgements...they are natural disasters happening because we live in a fallen world. These are temporary sufferings and we as believers must minister to those who are hurting from the devastation. That is our call. But our call also is to tell them that Jesus is the way to eternal perfection where there will be no crying, no devastation. There is a way...God's way. That is what is important in light of all we are going through.
Japan, I am praying for your grief...I grieve with you as you have lost children and other family members. God is not punishing you...He loves you...choose Him in the midst of this trial and He will give you peace that passes all understanding.