At the end of 2004, over 150,000 people lost their lives in moments because of a tsunami that washed across south east Asia.
Questions like ‘why?’, ‘what’s God done?’, ‘if he’s a God of love, why has he let this happen?’, reveal that people need to go back to the beginning to get a better understanding of why these things are happening.
Let’s get the facts straight: God made this world a perfect place. There was no disease or sickness or dying. Creation was perfect and the world really was a place of harmony.
Everything that’s made works best when the makers instructions are followed—here’s where it all went wrong. God gave guidelines that he knew would maintain the perfection he had made. When the makers instructions are ignored there are always consequences which are not good and the situation with God and his people is no different.
Ignoring God’s rules and choosing to do what we want, paying little or no attention to God and his ways has had devastating consequences for this world of ours. People doing their own thing and turning their back on God has had a major effect in three areas
· The relationship between God and people is damaged
· The relationship between people is damaged
The tsunami, the earthquake, floods, famines, volcanic eruptions and all other disasters that we consider natural are actually as man-made as Sept 11th, wars, violence, drug abuse and alcoholism. By ignoring God and making our own rules we have spoiled this world and are living with the inevitable consequences that ignoring sound advice brings.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (The Bible). When relationships are broken we long for them to be put right and sometimes if the longing is that deep it brings a physical pain. Creation is no different—it longs to be restored to its original condition of the perfection God made it. The physical pain creation feels is like the pain of a woman in childbirth waiting to fulfil the plan and create new life. We live with creation’s pain as we suffer disasters like the tsunami.
When you know that putting your hand in a hot fire results in you getting burned, the question after the burning cannot be ‘why has God done this?’. We know our actions have consequences and now we see the sin-wrecked world suffering the inevitable consequence of ignoring God for so long
The question to ask is not why has God done this, but ‘God, what can I do to put this right?’
God has promised that even though the world has ignored and rejected him in his undying love he will come to restore and make all things new — “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . . There will be no more death or mourning, or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away” (The Bible)
Until that day comes we are living with the consequences of what we have done. The tsunami is not God’s punishment but God allowing us what we wanted—our own way with no thought for him.
God’s love for us is best seen in his son Jesus who’s invasion into this spoilt world offered us the only way to restore the broken relationship between us and God which would lead to us being able to live with better relationships with each other.
The tsunami, like all other sad things, is one more chance to realise that the world is in this state not because of God but because of us. Having contributed to the great mess that is this spoilt world, our only option to put it right and to give ourselves and others hope for today, tomorrow and for eternity is to turn to Jesus Christ and take up his offer of a way back to the Father.
Instead of asking ‘why?’, try saying ‘sorry Lord’ so that while the world is shaken you can find your security in the God who promises never to leave you.