How Disaster Positions us for Breakthrough
“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.” – unknown
Something happens to people when disaster strikes close to home. When everything around them is shaken, when their thinking shifts to a focus on more basic needs, it does something to a person. They are open. What does that mean, you ask? Put yourself in that position. Imagine a natural disaster has taken out your home and the homes of those around you. Lines of communication are lost. What is the first thing you think of?
“Is my family safe?”
“Will they be taken care of?”
“Will I have water? Food?”
“Will I have a place to live?”
These kinds of thoughts rarely make their way into our thinking in the normal stream of everyday life. More often than not, we are comfortable. I’m not saying that we all live perfect lives with no stress, etc., but in the big picture, if you are reading this then you have a life that is more comfortable and stable than a lot of places around the world.
So what did I mean by saying that when disaster strikes you are open? Stay with me here.
Jordan Pacilio is the Director of Bethel Global Response. It’s an organization dedicated to disaster relief. They have a unique approach, however, in their mission. Here’s part of it:
“We respond to domestic and international disasters with both physical aid and supernatural breakthrough.”
That last part is where the gold lies. Supernatural breakthrough.
Like I said before, when disaster strikes and our needs are focused on the things that truly matter, we are open. When the normal, accessible means of provision and comfort are taken away, people are primed to see supernatural breakthrough. They are more open to see God do something miraculous in their life…because they have no other options. This is much more than a physical state; it’s spiritual.
When disaster strikes and response teams are sent out, they represent more than food and supplies. They represent hope. Hope is a powerful thing. It does something to our outlook. It changes how we believe. Bethel’s team knows this. Responding to disaster opens the door for them to address spiritual needs that might not otherwise be addressed. It is an opportunity to rebuild people from the inside out, to present them with an opportunity to experience God in a way that those who are comfortable and without great need might not.
Hope is a catalyst. When hope is introduced into a desperate situation, it begins an almost chemical process. Energy is injected. Optimism is produced. When the tank is empty, hope fills it up. Hope also gives people the desire to help themselves, to take action. It inspires people. It activates the imagination. It opens the door for possibilities, both natural and supernatural.
So, there are two lenses through which we can view our world when disaster strikes. One that sees loss, pain, and hopelessness; or one that sees opportunity. Disaster is a prime place to plant seeds of hope.
The most powerful revelation on hope, though, that we could ever have is this: Hope is a person.
“Jesus said, with men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.” – Matthew 19:26
It could be said that hope is like a pair of glasses, that, when we look through them, allows us to see the potential for the impossible to happen. I imagine it would be a little like looking through the eyes of Jesus.