This post shares a few of my thoughts on recent disasters and the results of disasters in general. I bring up the subject to create a platform for others to discuss the subject if they want. One of the most poignant & spiritual verses about disaster is 1 PTR 1:6: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith…is tested by fire…” Joel Osteen’s megachurch has had its reputation seriously tarnished for their response to Hurricane Harvey, while smaller churches which have helped in a Christlike way have not gained much attention. I am not taking sides in the Joel Osteen controversy…only reporting that Christians as a group had their reputations tarnished by the acts of him & his church. The churches & Christians in the area did indeed have the genuineness of their faith tested by “fire” (in this case water).
MY EFFECTED FRIENDS. I had the privilege to talk to a friend in the Houston area that went through Hurricane Harvey, and another friend who has a brother experiencing Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico. These acts of nature involve incredible amounts of force and energy and leave a lot of damage in their wake. One of my Houston area friend’s mom house had the water level rise to the roof, and he himself was fleeing the waters when the bridge he was crossing collapsed. He survived, but over 60 people did not survive Harvey. In the Houston area, one dealership lost 100% of his cars, and it is estimated that between 750,000 to 1 million cars were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. Courthouses and schools are so damaged it will be many months before they begin operation again. The storm hit from Houston to Corpus Christi, TX to the SW and caused people to evacuate their homes in 11 counties. Gas in the affected area shot up to $9/gal. Now Irma threatens Florida. So what is the end result of storms like this? The Bible teaches us to count it all joy when we come into such trials. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”(JAS 1:2-3)
REACTIONS. People go through shock, fear, anger, sadness, as well as thankfulness in disasters like these. In terms of Harvey, there are no end to the stories of people helping other people out. This is good news. A group of volunteers from Louisiana called the Cajun Navy arrived to help rescue people with their boats. They have noted that the waters still contain disease like mersa and e-coli, and people are still moving around in these diseased waters. Another group of volunteers from the South were the Rescue Rangers, a group of disabled vets. Their facebook presence is Rescue Rangers 2017 Hurricane Harvey.
FINAL THOUGHTS. It is not my intention to give a comprehensive study of recent disasters…only to focus our attention on the spiritual issues at hand. In I PTR 1:6 (quoted above) the Word of God acknowledges that a natural reaction to disaster is grief. And the disaster becomes a difficult test of how sincere we believe in the goodness of God. I think it is important to remember the sovereignty of God: ” I [YHWH] form light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster.” (ISA 45:7) It has been explained in the Word of God that God’s original creation is now a cursed planet which needs to be liberated from the “bondage of decay” and is groaning under the curse of sin. (ROM 8:19) As a cursed planet, we can expect more natural disasters. The Yellowstone area continues to have lots of earthquakes & doming. The interconnectedness of all the earth’s crust, esp. the Pacific Rim and how the west coast fault lines trigger each other, give us notice that if something big happens…it will likely trigger other large disasters. Will we be able to have joy in the midst of such suffering?? Are we thankful for what we do have?? Have a good one my friend.