All of us know that we live in a destructive world. Almost every day now we hear of events that are catastrophic, where in a split second, multitudes of lives are lost. There are of course murders and illnesses, but right now I am thinking of Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis. Sure, they don’t happen every day, but when they do occur, thousands of people are instantly killed, and people are left shocked and devastated.
Let’s face it, every one of us has experienced the loss of someone in our lives. It may have been from the effects of cancer or other diseases, as I mentioned, but those kinds of things we can prepare for. I realize that does not eliminate the pain of our loss, but it does give us some time to prepare our hearts.
But what about those events that are instantaneous? The events that we see on TV where hundreds or thousands lose their lives instantly? Have we become numb and unmoved by such things? We recognize that there is evil in our world, but when there is a loss from some unexplained event, how are we supposed to respond?
I know that when horrible events strike, just like you, I am bewildered and find myself going to my Father asking: “Lord, why did this happen? Was it simply an unexplainable accident of nature, or is there something we need to learn by this devastation?”
Yes, we mourn for the indescribable pain and misery multitudes of people must endure. We pray for those who are suffering. Churches and unbelievers alike are moved to send thousands, even millions of dollars to relief agencies to clean up the damage and to help rebuild churches and homes in the devastated areas. Sure, we know that our Heavenly Father is moved by the suffering of the wounded and that the Holy Spirit pours out comfort to the nations affected.
But what about us, individually? Most of us recognize that America always demonstrates compassion during catastrophic events. America continually pours out support. I thank God for the response of so many who pray, give and go to those areas to help. I was so impressed with one of my sons when he volunteered to help Red Cross during the clean up after Katrina. But still, when these types of things happen, something deep within my heart troubles me. I look around and it seems that many have become numbed and stupefied by the magnitude of the disasters. How are we supposed to react?
I rejoice when I hear the reports of people reacting and pouring out blessings in many areas of the world, including America. But if we cannot be brought to our knees by unleashed power — if we cannot humble ourselves after witnessing terrible natural disasters — what will it take to silence those continually mock our God? Are we now immune to these kinds of things?
Think about this. Our Lord has been removed from our society in the name of political correctness, the whole world is turning to secularism and materialism, many churches are growing more worldly than the world itself, violence and apathy are increasing in the world and even in our churches, many churches no longer accept the Bible as being God’s Word.
Yet, Scriptures tell us that a day “when everything that can be shaken,” will be shaken. When thoughtful people everywhere have an intuition that “somebody is tinkering with nature, something is happening that cannot be explained away,” and our societies continue its business without even a thought that our God will not be mocked
Well, when these things happen, we have come near or crossed a line into a spiritual stupor that no amount of divine mercy can awaken. Or have we?
No, I am confident that our God is merciful, gracious and ready to forgive. So rather than writing everyone off as being lost with no hope of redemption, we need to continue to pray that our Lord will demonstrate His love and compassion through His disciples (us) as the day of the Lord approaches. These will require and breaking down of our selfish concerns, but isn’t that what we have been called to do, anyway?
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