Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sunday Devotions: Finding God In Disasters

Sometimes the Old Testament gives us the impression that we worship a churlish, vindictive God who seeks to smite and destroy His people at the first sign of rebellion. It’s hard for us to comprehend living under such a divine tyrant, especially as we relate to God through the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus. I am so glad to be able to freely worship and adore God through Christ’s eyes; through Moses’ eyes, God must have seemed fierce and terrible.

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Bible Verse
Numbers 14:34 ‘For forty years--one year for each of the forty days you explored the land--you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.'

Our forty days of Lent began on a sad note. We learned that many people lost their homes and more than fifty lost their lives in the thunderous tornadoes that whipped through the South. Looking at the devastation on the news, I can only wonder what the people are feeling. Some are thankful to God for having their lives saved; others are distraught and angry with Him about losing loved ones, their homes, and livelihood. As usual, that same old question, which got the Israelites into so much trouble, will be voiced: Where is God during moments of disaster? Why doesn’t He protect people from such calamities?

Yesterday, I was listening to a report that partially answered those questions. Within hours of the devastations across the South, fire crews, police, and paramedics were quickly working with victims. The Red Cross had already mobilized its first responder teams. And then, tagged at the end of the report, came this news: people in church vans had turned up with food and hot drinks, blankets and supplies. God, through the grace of Jesus Christ, was already at work amongst the people. His love was being given to those who needed to be embraced.

We may never understand why natural disasters hurt, injure, and kill so many people, but at least we still live in a world where Christians compassionately respond to those most in need. And that’s where we both see and experience the caring Kingdom of God in our broken world.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we pray for those whose lives have been devastated by the recent spate of terrifying tornadoes. We pray for all of the families who are affected, and we ask that You surround them with caring, compassionate people. Help us to do what we can by offering support, supplies, and money to bring aid and comfort to the victims. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie is the writer of the daily devotional and religious news blog at Heaven's Highway

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