This last week, Central Oklahoma experienced a natural disaster. Do you ever wonder why natural disasters occur on earth? I mean, other than reasons science tells us about like soil erosion, seismic activity, tectonic movements, air pressure, and ocean currents; why do they happen? It may seem that, during these times, it’s easy to ask, “Where was God?”
We can be assured that God does use natural disasters to kill and maim indiscriminately and without warning (Sodom & Gomorrah, Nineveh). We have to remember the world we live in is a fallen world. In Genesis, the ground is cursed and will be hard to work because of man’s sin. In Isaiah 24:6, we are told the earth is cursed and humans must bear that guilt. Simply put, natural disasters are a result of our own sin and now all of humanity, for the rest of time, will deal with them on earth.
So, what do we do when they occur? There are many things we can do, but I want to focus on two. First, we need to seek our comfort in God, not blame Him. Isaiah 63:9, “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” God does not like to see His people suffer. He is there in the natural disasters to help us, not hurt us.
Lastly, we have to help each other. Acts 11:21-30, “Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.” It is not about how or how much we help; the Christian example is to take action! I’m proud to say that I and much of the community have seen Choctaw Church of Christ do these very things!
So, why do natural disasters occur? So, we can shine the light of Christ and encourage each other.