A message from the Philippines: 'Ang ating Diyos ay mabuti.' (Our God is good.)
A Christian Science perspective: In the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, the 'still small voice' of divine Spirit, Love, can bring comfort, peace, and strength to rebuild.
Throughout the Philippines and around the world, faith-filled men, women, and children are turning in earnest prayer to the one God, our Father, for reassurance, comfort, and strength in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), which has recently swept through that country.
While it is tempting to be mesmerized by news reports of death, tragedy, and devastation, a friend of mine who lives in the Philippines, whom I met when I lived in Manila, recently wrote, “Tragedy is not our master. God’s Love is still enthroned.”
Our compassionate prayers, starting with an unshakable trust in God’s goodness, ever-presence, tender care, and absolute power, will help refocus humanity’s thinking to the worship of God alone (rather than pictures of tragedy and suffering), thereby uplifting the spirits and the human condition of our brothers and sisters in the Philippines as well as blessing all those in need around the world.
When contemplating a storm of Haiyan’s magnitude and ferocity, some might ask, “Where was God in this storm?” or even attribute its destructive force to a god who either allows the evil to happen, or, worse yet, is its cause. This presents a misconception of the Almighty God who Christ Jesus taught us is Love, and whom he called “Our Father.”
Ang ating Diyos ay mabuti is a Filipino phrase that means “Our God is good.”
The truth is that our divine Parent neither neglects His children nor does He cause them to suffer by sending disasters. The prophet Elijah learned this lesson as he witnessed a series of disasters. The Bible says: “And [God] said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire, a still small voice” (I Kings 19:11, 12).
God was not “in” any of the violent events, and ultimately the “still small voice” of Spirit, Love, was powerful enough to establish peace and calm, just as it is today throughout the world. This is our Father-Mother God, who is good, and in whom we trust.
Following this kind of disaster, there is often a great need for clear avenues of communication from loved ones to their families to provide reassurance of safety and to enumerate practical needs to the outside world. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of the Christ and founded the Christian Science church, wrote, “The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 284). Humanity can count on this “still small voice” of God, who is infinite Love, to communicate directly and specifically to those in need as well as to those who wish to help them.
My friend in the Philippines rejoiced in practical evidence of this kind of communication as he reported: “One specific healing was when the TV News Anchor [began] reading notices about individuals being safe.... [S]ince there was no communication system in the area where the storm landed, this meant a lot for those relatives looking for their loved ones.”
God, who is infinite Mind and the source of all right ideas, continuously communicates His messages of comfort and healing, requiring no wiring or infrastructure to assure their delivery. Affirming this truth, Mrs. Eddy wrote, “If Spirit pervades all space, it needs no material method for the transmission of messages. Spirit needs no wires nor electricity in order to be omnipresent” (Science and Health, p. 78). And man, the idea of God, will be obedient to every prompting from the Father to offer tender assistance to our brothers and sisters in need.
Yes, Ang ating Diyos ay mabuti, our God is good. He answers our every prayer, is the force for good, and not evil, in the universe, and communicates to His sons and daughters with perfect clarity and compassion.
As Eddy wrote in her poem titled “Satisfied”: “Our God is good./ False fears are foes – truth tatters those,/ When understood....” (“Poems,” p. 79). How blessed we all are to be the people of God!