I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country. (Jer. 12:15)

ON JANUARY 12, 2010, a sudden and devastating earthquake hit the island of Haiti. A young husband and father of two boys, Dan Woolley, suddenly found himself trapped under tons of rubble of the Hotel Montana in Port au Prince. Not knowing if he’d be rescued before succumbing to his injuries, he wrote a note to his wife and children in a blood-stained journal: “I was in a big accident, an earthquake. Don’t be upset at God. He always provides for his children even in hard times. I’m still praying that God will get me out, but He may not. But even so he will always take care of you.”

Jeremiah lamented the fact that bad people seemed to get away with murder—all the time. It seemed to him that God simply gave these people whatever they needed and then turned His back. The context of his complaint, of course, was the coming exile of God’s people, where the superpower of the day was absolutely ruthless and relentless in its conquests.

God was not blind to what was going on, despite the prophet’s frustration. When Dan was buried under that pile of rubble, he understood that even if he perished, God had not abandoned him. As it turned out, Dan was rescued and returned (in one piece) to his family and his country. Regardless of the “rubble” we may be under, God will never leave us or forsake us.

Journal your thoughts on what you would include in one last letter to friends and family.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor and is on staff with his church as a small-groups coach.