|St. John's Hospital, Joplin, MO, after the 2011 tornado.|
Sometimes it seems like bad storms come more frequently and fervently than they used to. I don’t have “science” to back that up. It may not be the case at all, but it sure seems like it is. I went with our church’s youth to Joplin, MO last year to help with cleanup efforts after a powerful tornado devastated that city. It was like nothing I’d ever seen—just massive destruction everywhere. Tuscaloosa, AL was beat to pieces as well by a different storm. Look up 2011 tornadoes on Wikipedia for the details of a really bad year of storms. It may surprise you how many tornadoes occur across the world every year, and that’s just tornadoes. If we consider hurricanes, tsunamis, severe thunderstorms and other sources of high winds and waters (not to mention volcanoes and wildfires) that occur across the globe, the cost in destroyed property and lives is astronomical. I hate severe storms! Why can’t they all just be soothing little rumbling thunderstorms and then move out of the way for some sunshine? If wishes were horses…
Right now all the news is about the storm that hit the East Coast of the U.S. yesterday. It wasn’t even a full-fledged hurricane, but still caused billions of dollars of damage and considerable loss of life. May God bless those caught in the wake of the storm with survival, prompt reconstruction, and a sense of hope in strengthening, remaking, or establishing their commitments to our good God!
And, yes, God is good—all good! Bible students know why the world is the way it is—sin. Not that every storm is a direct act of God in judgment of particular sins, but that the world has been “subjected to futility” (Romans 8:18-25) as a cosmic judgment against sin itself, and as general discipline for the whole human race to remind us what our lot looks like without God. Shouldn’t a good God do away with all destructive storms and give us peace? One day he will. He’s promised us that in the Bible. But, for now, who am I to say what God should and shouldn’t do? I’d have to be all-knowing myself to be bold enough to seriously question the judgments of God, and it has been noted that I’m not all-knowing—not even close! Are you? So, depend on God, be right with him through the grace available through faith in Jesus and try not to worry about the storms. When dark clouds, high winds and rising waters approach—and they will—use good sense to protect your loved ones if you can, and when they pass—and they will—use the aftermath as an opportunity from God to do some good.