While driving along the coast of the Miyagi Prefecture, it is hard not to notice two things. The city landscape is devoid of most of its buildings (only foundations remaining) and there are mountains of debris.
It has been over two years since the monumentally tragic earthquake and tsunami. Much of the rubble has been cleared away leaving behind a starkly barren landscape, where a bustling city was once located. The debris has been taken to empty plots of land and stacked as neatly as possible. There are still mountains of debris even after two years.
We passed two large parcels of land with hundreds of cars stacked one on top of another waiting for removal. A year ago, the stacks were more numerous and much higher.
Renewal and restoration could not and cannot take place until the rubbish is removed. It’s impossible to rebuild on land than is strewn with wreckage. Imagine trying to rebuild a house with everything from the former house still scattered on the property.
The Scriptures tell us that the Lord wants to rebuild our lives through His Son, Jesus Christ. He wants to remove the mountains of debris known as sin and build a life that is holy and pure. He calls us His temple and wants us to be free from the carnage of sin.
Paul wrote, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…” Philippians 3:8-9. Paul did not want anything to get in the way of God building in him a Christ-like life.
As I viewed the efforts being made to remove the mountain of debris caused by the earthquake and tsunami, I am reminded of the effort that we should take to remove the mountains of debris from our lives so that God can do His rebuilding project in us.
Something to think about…
Missions Comment: While in Japan, I heard of things that are national sins. Every country has them. Sins that are a part of the mores of a particular society. While riding a train, it was pointed out to me that there were delays on three or four railway lines. The reason for the delay was “personal injury”. I was then informed that “personal injury” was a euphemism for “suicide”. Someone jumped in front of an oncoming train to commit suicide and upon hearing about it nobody blinks an eye. Suicide is an accepted and honorable way of dealing with personal defeat and disgrace. Japan’s attitude towards suicide is heartbreaking and can only be resolved through the gospel of grace and forgiveness.