April 25, 2015, at exactly 11:56 am, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal. As of the time of this writing, there are about 2,500 people (and counting) who have died while countless properties are destroyed. In the midst of this disaster and suffering, one may ask, “Where is God in all of this?”
There is no doubt that the human race has seen how destructive natural calamities may be. Innumerable number of people had lost their lives throughout the history. It is, therefore, no wonder why so many people question the loving and caring character of God when such tragedy occurs.
Why natural disasters happen
God created the Earth and the whole universe with natural laws. It is through these laws our world operates. Natural disasters may happen because of seismic activities, air pressure, soil erosion, and ocean currents, just to name a few.
Though people may easily see the negative effects of these laws and natural phenomena such as earthquake, tornado, tsunami, there is no doubt that they are also useful in sustaining life here on earth. For example, earthquake is the natural way for the earth to replenish the land on earth. Without earthquake or volcanic activities, all of the land masses would eventually be submerged underwater.
Should we blame God?
There is no doubt; God has the power to stop natural calamities. He can influence weather and the natural activities on earth. This world was made perfect by God, but sin has separated us from God. Ultimately, all the suffering here on earth, be it man-made or caused by nature, are caused by SIN.
Stopping natural calamities is the same with taking away our free-will.
Undoubtedly, nature is beyond our control, but WE, AS HUMANS, HAVE THE ABILITY TO LIVE IN HARMONY WITH OUR ENVIRONMENT. We have the ability to create stronger structures that can withstand strong earthquakes. In Nepal, most structures are poorly made. Imagine if all resources and knowledge are used for the improvement of human lives, instead of war, this world could have been a better place for all of us.
We have the ability to take care of our environment and prevent strong typhoons from forming. If only more trees are in the forest, there would be less flooding. If only we stop producing CFC, global warming could have been alleviated.
In the final analysis, we all have a part in aggravating the bad condition of this world. Whether we suffer because of our own doing or the doing of others, we can still say that WE CANNOT BLAME GOD for all the natural calamities that go our way.
Good coming out from the BAD
Natural disasters can either make us closer or farther away from God. However, there is no doubt that natural calamities make us ponder on man’s purpose. It forces us in making sense out of all the suffering in this world. Whether we recognize it or not, we all have a spiritual element within us.
Yes, not all of us are directly affected by the earthquake in Nepal. Nevertheless, it causes us to thank God for His protection over our lives and pray for those people who have been badly affected. Faith in God is not formed in a vacuum. It is strengthened by hardships and tests.
Truly, we can all believe this passage in I Peter 1:7-9:
“Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns. You have never seen Jesus, and you don’t see him now. But still you love him and have faith in him, and no words can tell how glad and happy you are to be saved. That’s why you have faith.”
Sometimes, God puts more importance on building our faith than our comfort. God is working out something bigger than this life and you can HAVE FAITH on that.
I don’t have all the answers
I have to admit: I don’t have the answer for everything. As hard as I may try to explain things, there are certain aspects of life that we simply can’t completely comprehend and understand. However, we can have complete faith and confidence that God works a greater purpose that is beyond what you and I can imagine.
Let’s all pray for Nepal. Let’s all pray for the all mankind. Above all, let’s all PRAY for God’s kingdom to be established here on earth.
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