Irma has wreaked havoc across my home state of Florida. My wife and I are recovering from the aftermath as are many others, and though we did not escape unscathed we did not sustain the property damage, bodily injury, and in some cases the loss of life that others have. We consider ourselves thankful and blessed, and pray for all of those who lost so much more.
Before this Harvey pounded the Gulf coast of Texas and Houston and they are still recovering from Harvey’s devastation. Mexico was rocked by an earthquake that registered 8.2 on the Richter Scale that was then hit by hurricane Katia. The northwest of our nation is scorched by wildfires and many are asking or thinking, what is going on?
An article I read said that “since the 1980s there has been a “400-percent increase in natural disasters globally.” Of course some of this could be attributed to increase awareness thanks to the technological advances of the Internet age, nevertheless, it points to an abundance of catastrophes occurring on a regular basis.
Some are asking and others are saying this is the judgment of God. Jesus said the Father “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” Matthew 5:45. The weather, whether good or bad, is experienced by the believer and unbeliever alike. If bad weather is God’s judgment then there are a lot of good people affected by it.
I do not think bad weather is the judgment of God. While God has used, and can again if He desires, natural disasters to execute His justice, I do not think that is what is happening now. But bad weather does reveal what we think about God, and how we handle the difficulties caused by it.
Some will curse God and Irma and complain about their losses and others will do what they can to help family, friends and strangers through the crisis. Some will simply become bitter, others will aspire to do better.
One thing that can be said about the catastrophic disasters we hear of or experience is this; man is not really in much control of what happens. What Irma did here in Florida in a few hours will take months to recover from, if at all. If in the midst of great loss this crisis opens us up to our complete dependence on God and the need to draw closer to Him it will not have been a wasted experience.
Natural disasters from without will not destroy our country as much as the spiritual storms within the hearts of men will cause our country to crumble and collapse under the weight of its own decadence. God is not sending His judgment; He is allowing us to destroy ourselves. Those who are suffering from the ravages of natural disasters are not greater sinners than the rest of us, “but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish,” Luke 13:5.