In the aftermath of Harvey, and while anticipating the arrival of Irma, Fox News had a couple of “faith” articles I found insightful. Max Lucado asked the question, “Where is God?”, and Joshua Rogers, an attorney, asked, “What did Jesus say about natural disasters?”
Max took us to Luke 21, where Jesus made it clear that there would always be earthquakes and plagues and famines on earth, and that while natural disasters may surprise us, they do not surprise God. He also noted that Jesus compared the frequency of natural calamites to the birth pangs of pregnancy—indications of an impending delivery. He said when these things take place, we should stand up and lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near.
I believe Max was telling us to let these things remind us that someday all will be made right. That God has allowed dysfunction in our lives, and in nature itself, to remind us that things aren’t the way God originally intended, but that they will be made right when Jesus returns.
Joshua directed us to Luke 13, where, when asked if the eighteen people who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them were the worst sinners in Jerusalem, Jesus said, “No, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Joshua went on to write, “When it comes to the question of ‘why’ with disasters, (Jesus) gets to the heart of the issue and focuses on the potential disaster that threatens everyone who ever lived: the day they meet God face to face.” He went on to note, “In God’s efforts to keep us from eternally perishing, he will use everything he can to get our attention— even things he might not have caused, like the devastation that comes with a natural disaster.”
He then quoted C.S. Lewis; “God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
May we have the faith to hear both the promise and the warning that comes to us through disasters. And may we keep our eyes on Jesus if the waves are lapping at our feet.
God Bless, Rick