By Edd Sterchi
Webster’s dictionary defines calamity as: “a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering.” Without a doubt 2020 could be deemed the year of calamities. When pandemics, hurricanes, or wildfires hit, the question is asked by some: “Why did God allow it to happen?” I don’t claim to have all the answers, but this and all catastrophes can serve to remind us of several important biblical principles:
God is an incredible God. He is all-powerful and not to be trifled with. He created the world and has control over it (Gen. 1; Psa. 148:1-5). When we observe the damage the powerful forces of the earth can do, we should stand in awe of a God whose powers are infinitely greater.
Man (not God) brought calamity and death into the world. After Adam and Eve sinned, disease, death, and destruction came into being (Gen. 3:16-19; 1 Cor. 15:21a). Without a doubt calamities wreak incredible damage, and that should remind us of how devastating sin is.
Our faith will be tested from time to time. We are told in the Scriptures that the storms and quakes of life are meant to make us stronger (Jas. 1:2-3; Heb. 12:5-11). How many Christians will God test through all this? How many will have their faith strengthened as a result?
Life is short. This can well remind us of the brevity, uncertainty, and frailty of our existence (Jas. 4:14; 1 Pet. 1:24). We are never guaranteed another day of earthly life.
This is an incredible opportunity to spread the good news about Jesus Christ. Through relief efforts, and through reminders of things like this, we can and should spread the gospel (2 Cor. 5:11; Gal. 6:10). Unfortunate incidents are often an open door for us to evangelize.
The Judgment will be much worse than this for some. Yes, many have lost their lives, but come Judgment Day many more will lose their souls (Matt. 7:21-23; 25:41-46; Rom. 1:18). Viewing the earth’s tragedies should motivate us to make our lives right before our Maker.
Through times like these don’t question God, but determine to find a greater quest in God and in working His will!
- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.broadwaychurchofchrist.net/