The tragic rain and flooding that is, at this moment, still threatening the lives and property of people living in Texas, is an event that deserves all of our prayers and support. The devastation that is unfolding there is a reminder that our lives on this Earth are temporary and fleeting. Any moment death and destruction can visit our doorsteps.
Often when the worst happens we cry out “where is God?” Certainly a loving father would not sit by idly and watch as his creation, young, old, men, and women, are simply swept away to a violent death. This is something even a mature person of faith will struggle with because the Bible speaks of God’s love for his children and his desire that we lived blessed lives. So why the contradiction?
The answer is complicated and not easy to accept. We have free will which means that God gave us the ability to make our own choices. This means the choice to follow Him but also the choice to live where we want, to respond to serious threats around us in a manner that increases our protection, and to educate ourselves how to manage life’s risks and challenges. Government leaders have been placed in positions of earthly authority over us and have the free will to enact laws, assign resources, spend tax dollars in the manner they feel appropriate to protect the welfare of citizens, as we have the free will to choose those we decide are best prepared to lead us.
Earth is not our permanent home. Death is not a permanent end. Although humans are fixated on creating majestic lives and lifestyles on Earth and fear death, this is contrary to what the Lord has instructed us. We are to avoid the excesses of this world, and live with the promise of a better and eternal life of joy that awaits us in heaven.
If we view our lives understanding that this world is temporary and that death is merely a doorway to another better place it helps us to cope with tragedies such as what is happening in Houston now. This does not mean should not mourn for those who are lost, nor support or attend to those who are injured and homeless, or work to prevent similar tragedies for occurring through better preparation, training and education. It does mean though that we must recognize that pain and suffering are a necessary part of life on this Earth, but that even in the midst of the worst God promises that there is so much more in store for us that will wipe every tear, brighten every face, soother every pain and calm every fear.
God offers us peace and hope in the face of every disaster. We need to cling to that promise and trust in His Word.
The time is short…this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
There are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind and the splendor of earthly bodies is another…The body that is sown (earthly) is perishable, it is raised imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:40, 42
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whomsoever should believe in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life. John 3:16
“Father God, please bless those who are suffering this very moment in the midst of the disaster in Texas. Comfort those in pain, bring hope to those who are lost, bring peace to those in fear. Bless the first responders and rescue workers as they do their jobs. Remind us all that this is not our home, and that there is a place you have prepared for us where tragedy never strikes, where death is defeated, and where perpetual joy awaits us. Amen.”