On Natural Disasters

The tragic earthquake in Japan last week and the devastating tsunami that followed are nothing short of heart-breaking. We’re praying for all of those affected by the disaster, and we ask you to please pray as well.

The events are also bitter reminders of how fragile human beings are in the face of nature’s might. With all of the power humankind possesses—think computers, space travel, and modern medicine—it’s easy to forget that the technology of the present era doesn’t even begin to rival nature’s supremacy.

The intricate weather forecasting models, the advanced meteorological devices, the satellites…none of it can 100 percent predict, define, or outwit nature. In the same way, our computers, smart phones, and cars—a few pieces of the technology we sometimes think make us powerful—can’t save us either. The only thing that can help us in a moment of disaster is God.

When disasters strike, believers can respond with love and kindness in Christ’s name.

When disasters strike, believers can respond with love and kindness in Christ’s name.

Says Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Matthew 5:45 says that, “…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

God’s creation and all of the happenings therein are for everyone, the good and the evil. Whatever occurs on earth doesn’t discriminate between righteous and unrighteous or believers and non-believers—we all have an equal chance of having something bad happen to us.

Perhaps the difference occurs in how we respond. In Christ, we have hope no matter what the situation: “For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5). We can also find ways to bring hope to others in the wake of disaster.

Take the biblical example of Paul. While Paul was in Philippi on a mission trip, he and his friend Silas were thrown into prison. During their time in jail, there was a massive earthquake (Acts 16:25-33) which destroyed the jail cell in which they were being held. After the event, Paul’s powerful message about God’s saving grace compelled the jailer and the jailer’s entire family became believers. Paul turned a tragic event into an opportunity to share the love of God with others, inviting them into the hope that God provides.

No matter how dark the tragedy, God gives us the reason and the strength to be hopeful. We know we are fallible and weak, but with God we are strong.