"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Devastation

My son lives about a half-mile from where the tornado touched down in Joplin. I am thankful that he is safe. He volunteered with the clean-up the next day. I cannot imagine the devastation he saw. He said they passed a car that had been in the twister. It had a body in it.

I just listened to Brian Williams report on the tragedy. He stated that "it was not fair." I find that an interesting statement, and wonder what that is based on. Is it not fair that these people suffered, as opposed to others? Or is suffering like this not fair for anyone? If so, what is that based on? Is there a limit to the suffering we should have to endure? If so, what are those limits?

I think this intrigues me because I do not know where he stands in his belief system. If he does not believe in God, this statement makes no sense to me. If there is no God, there is no fairness, everything is random. If there is no God, there is no deserving, because there is no sin or lack of sin. In order to deserve something, don't you have to be able to earn it from someone or something? So no matter how good a person might be, he can't deserve a particular kind of death just based on his morality, especially since without a supreme being, morality at best is subjective.

If he does believe in God, the statement still does not make sense. For the truth of it is that some people do deserve a horrible death. Some people will even get a much more horrible eternity. But we don't like to think about that, unless you are Rob Bell, and then you just make it disappear. So maybe you can tell me, Mr. Bell, if God is so loving that He would not send anyone to hell, why make people suffer like this?

My thoughts go to my son. If he were 4 blocks closer, I would be suffering right now. But that would not change my view of God. God is not my God only when He does not give me pain. Whatever I have to endure in this life, surely I deserve it. And then some. What I don't deserve is His grace and mercy.

I pray for you, Joplin. And even as I write this, there is news of more killer tornadoes in Kansas and Oklahoma. That is a part of the broken world that we live in. Along with war, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, etc. And through it all, God is God. He is sovereign, and worthy of our praise and worship. But you won't hear that on the news tonight.

3 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

Glad your son is safe!

I think that Williams is a Roman Catholic. Agree with you about fairness. I used to tell my kids that my discipline may not seem fair but I was more important that it was just.

I am reading Rob Bell's book and the chapter on hell is a LOT like the views of a Christian Universalist. So far I have found him to be pretty not transparent about his leanings. Much of it seems to be taken from Martin Zender and Origen. Oh well.

Hope you are well these days.

Milly said...

Thank God your son is safe.

The company I work for lost the building and one of our family members. That's how we feel as if we have lost a family member. It was a hard day the next day because most of us wanted to go and help. We were turned down, we did send stuff to help and will continue to do so.

Those folks have some of my prayer time.

Spherical said...

So sorry for the loss. It is such a tragic thing. I can feel the hurt in my son when I talk to him, even though his home and caar were not touched.

They have some of my prayer time too.