when this happened last week, i began to think about how God fits into all of it. it has been interesting to hear on the news, through friends, and even on facebook what people think about God in relation to the earthquake. i've heard people say things like, "where is God in all of this?", i've heard miraculous stories showing that God is definitely involved, and i've also heard people say insensitive things like "they had it coming" for one reason or another, including the well-known rev. pat robertson.
ugh. i hate it when christians as a whole get negative representation because another one says or does something that is not reflective of the beliefs of us all. who can really know why God allowed the earthquake to happen there? i say now is not the time to make judgements about nation or people as a whole (that's up to God), but it is the time to love them and help them.
interestingly enough, a day or two after the earthquake happened, i came to chapter 10 of randy alcorn's book "if God is good" which is entitled, "natural disasters: creation under the curse of human evil." he says that it all can be traced back the "the fall" where a perfect world became corrupt because of human sin (Genesis 3:17, Romans 8:18-22.) his main points are:
- God is sovereign over all nature. (Psalm 147:18, Job 37:13, Numbers 11:1, Matthew 5:45)
- Sometimes God uses natural disasters to punish evil. (Genesis 6-8, Numbers 16:30, Jonah 1:12, just to name a few)
- Natural disasters ordinarily are general results of the Curse, not specifically linked to the sins of individuals who perish or suffer in them. (Luke 13:2-5)
- Scripture does not distance God from disasters and secondary evils the way his children do. (Isaiah 45:7, Amos 3:6)
- Even when satan is behind natural disasters and diseases, God hasn't relinquished his world-governing power. (Job)
- Some disasters fall on the blameless. (Job)
- Disasters can initiate self-examination (Luke 13:5)
- Disasters can bring out the best in people.
- Disasters can lead to spiritual transformation.
- A world without personal tragedy or natural disasters would produce no heroes.
alcorn says: "one day, in Christ's presence, we will be relieved of evil and suffering, yet we'll remember- and our characters will forever benefit from- what we learned in this world." (p.91)
i have no doubt that God is using the tragedy of this earthquake (and other natural disasters) for some sort of good. we have seen it on a much, much, MUCH smaller scale in our life recently. even through loss and devastation, we have been able to see God much more clearly, whether it was through the absolute perfect timing of events, answered prayers, or through the love of others.
i truly pray that the goodness of God will be seen even in the fog of devastation in haiti.