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.