We are stunned by the devastation from the earthquakes this week in Turkiye and Syria. We’ve watched scenes of untold destruction to cities, towns and homes, bodies broken, families and lives torn apart.

How can we respond?….

We’re to love our neighbour as ourself; that must mean in the first instance empathizing – i.e., imagining ourselves in their shoes, and what they might be feeling and needing. And if there’s anything practically that we can do – providing donations or going to help the suffering people “on the ground” – we can do that.

We must also pray for the people of Turkiye and Syria. The Bible says that “though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake”, and are “toppled into the sea”, “we will not be moved”, and that we can be still and know that the Lord is God.” Why?… because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46)

Notice, it doesn’t say that God will help us find a strong refuge, nor that He will help us if we take some strong action, but that He IS our refuge. God cannot be bombed nor shaken nor removed. Even if everything else of our world falls apart and is destroyed, His rule remains eternally firm.

The greatest and most important thing that the people of Turkiye and Syria and we ourselves can do is to trust completely in God our refuge and strength! Pray for that; do that; give generously.

Grace and peace, Jonathan.