Serving an international
Vol. 10 No. 4 April 2008 Page 1
A Word Between Friends
While I was attending
However, when tragic events take place, such as a
tsunami in the Indian Ocean, in which thousands and thousands of people are
killed, survivors who have lost family members and loved ones usually ask,
“Why? Why, God, did you send such a terrible thing upon us?” The same question
was asked when four hurricanes hit
Tragic events of nature are continually happening around the world. Scientists explain: Mud slides occur naturally when rain weakens the structure of a mountain, releasing a muddy torrent on whatever may be in its path. Hurricanes and cyclones sweep over an area when conflicting energy of high and low air pressure, combined with hot and cool air masses, create rapid spiraling movement of the air over the ocean. Tornadoes form when warm, humid air meets cold, dry air in a twisting effect over land, spinning at speeds of 80 to 150 miles an hour. Earthquakes are caused by the shifting of tectonic plates along fault lines under the earth’s surface. This crashing movement can turn whole villages into rubble in a matter of seconds. Volcanoes are the result of a build-up of heat and pressure in the hot, molten rock deep underground along tectonic plate lines. Magma finally breaks through the surface, spewing gas, steam, ash and molten lava from the rupture. If the earthquake or the volcanic eruption occurs in the ocean, a seismic sea wave—a tsunami—may occur. This natural result of massive movements in the earth can create waves as much as 35 to 200 feet higher than normal, crushing and mangling everything in their path.
These terrible, catastrophic events are the effects of what we call the “laws of nature.” When natural conditions come together in predictable, specified ways, we can expect one of these powerful, destructive results—not as a direct act of God, but because the earth’s conditions demand it.
On the other hand, while nature itself is responsible for these tragedies, man is responsible for grievous things that come about as a result of wars, terrorism, robberies, killings, the misuse of drugs, hunger, polluted water, poverty, poor eating habits, etc.
However, whatever brings about hurt, pain, suffering
and death, never let the thought cross your mind, or to say to yourself and to
others, that God is responsible. Listen, God created you and all human beings,
and He loves you. He doesn’t want to kill you. He doesn’t want to hurt you or
to cause you and your loves ones to suffer. He even gave His son to die for you
so you can be saved in this world and in the world to come.
Perhaps you have lost a wife, a husband, children and other family members in some tragic natural calamity. This is heartbreaking, and we grieve for you in your loss. However, be thankful that you have survived. Don’t try to put the blame on others, and don’t blame God, but be thankful that you are still living, and that there are many in your country and around the world who are making great efforts to help you and others to rebuild your life. Be thankful that good can come out of tragedy, and that you can know the love of God and of caring humans in the midst of all the pain.
Although you can see God’s creation all around you, as a testimony that God lives, get yourself a Bible and read and study it to learn more about God and about His Son, Jesus Christ. Look for His words of love and reassurance. Learn to say with the psalmist David (Psalm 23):
The LORD is my
Turning to God’s Word to allow Him to talk to you, you will learn of the Lord’s sacrifice for you, and what He would have you to do to be saved. He wants you to hear the good news of His Son, Jesus Christ, to believe it, to turn away from your sins and to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. When you do these things, with a sincere heart of submission to God, He will save you and add you to His church, His spiritual family. Then, as you live the Christian life and remain faithful to Him, you will be prepared to go to heaven when you die. In that new spiritual world, you will live with God and the redeemed forevermore. There will be no pain there, no sorrow, no sickness and no death. “…we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:13-14).
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new’” (Revelation 21:3-5).
That is the kind of God we believe in and serve. He lives and we live because of Him.