While I was attending Freedhardeman College, a tornado struck a community nearby and two or three people were killed. Someone said that the reason the tornado swept through that area was because of the sinful living of those particular people. Someone else said that if God was punishing the people because of their sins, why didn’t He hit some place like New York City? The same could be said about cities, large and small, all over the world. Of course the point is, God is not directly sending tornados, fire, floods, snow storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, or other such things on the people of the world because of their wicked living. If He was using nature in such ways today, the world itself would have been destroyed a long time ago because; it is filled with sin and sinners.
But when tragic events take place, such as the 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 Florida in the U.S.A. that question was also asked repeatedly when earthquakes hit Turkey, Iran, India, and other countries, causing the deaths of thousands when their small mud houses collapsed on them. Similar earthquakes have hit Japan and China, and people there wondered, “why? Why me?” No doubt that same question was asked by those who suffered mud slides in California and floods in many parts of the U.S.A. during winter some years ago.
But tragic events of nature are continually happening around the world scientists explain: Mud slides occur naturally when 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 the 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 coriolis effect over lands, spinning at speeds of 80 to 150 miles an hour. Earthquakes are caused by shifting of tectonic plates along fault lines under the earth’s surface. The 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, stream, ash, and/or molten lava from the rupture. If the earthquake or the volcanic eruption occurs in the ocean, a seismic sea waves – 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 its 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 and 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. John 3:16 says plainly.
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. But 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 pain. Although you can see God’s creation all round 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)
Turning to God’s word to allow Him to talk to you, you will learn of the Lord’s sacrifice for you, and of 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 the 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 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). Also see (Revelation 21:3-5).
That is the kind of God we believe in and serve. He lives and we live because of Him. – By J. C. Choate.