Friday, February 8, 2008

Divine Intervention . . .

The tornado rampage killed 59 people. But according to one potential victim, it didn't kill 62 because God saved her family.

I'm always torn when this happens. On one hand, I'd like to believe her. The thought of God intervening in our lives is a great source of hope and a testament to the power and goodness of our Lord. But on the other hand, I hope it's not true.

When this particular person said, "It was God who saved her family", she also said to the families of those who did die: "God didn't save your family." At best, this comes across as arrogant to non-believers. At worst, this comes across as mean-spirited and she will be deemed an authentic representative of the simple-minded hick group of people who represent an antiquated and flawed philosophy called Christianity.

What did she do to deserve God's intervention? What did the others do not to deserve it?

I'm afraid I don't have the answer. All I can say is I believe God is just. We are only on this earth for a blink of an eye. This truth causes us to focus too much on this world. To put far more value in this brief moment than we do on eternity. There will come a day when the sorrows of this world will seem like an ancient bump in the road. Like when a baby cries because he dropped his bottle.

But until then, life does seem unjust, full of sorrow, and often times - meaningless. Therein lies the hope of knowing Christ. To trust in Him is the only way to bring beauty into the chaos of our lives spent here on Earth.


Janet Rubin said...

I kinda get what you are saying, BUT.. if your family made it out alive, wouldn't you have to give thanks? Wouldn't you look at the others and wonder, "why were we spared?" On the one hand, if you were an atheist, you could say, "Whew, that was sure lucky." On the other hand, if you're a believer, you know that your times are in God's hands. So maybe a better response would be simply to say, "It wasn't our time yet, and we are thankful." Of course then you'd risk offending becasue your comment would suggest that it WAS the "time" for those who died. I dunno. Either way, my heart breaks for the tornado victims.
I've been reading Job and it's made me ponder the subject of weather. Whenever there is a tsunami or hurricane or tornado, we wonder, "why'd God do that?" However, in Job, it was Satan who sent wind and lightening which caused first the death of Job's sheep and servants, and then all of his children:

16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
18 While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

God allowed these things, but it was Satan who performed them. This world is Satan's domain right now. Perhaps he makes tornadoes?

Ridiculously long comment. Your thoughts, Dayle???

Kay said...

Have you got to the last 3 chapters yet? They pretty much say that all those thing are in God's hands.
Apparently He allows the devil access to them from time to time, but not everytime. I don't think it's up to us to discern which is which. If it's because God allowed it, (satan had to have His permission first), then it still comes by His hand, filtered through His justice, love and mercy. I trust Him with it all.

Dayle, just wondering then...why was one family spared and another not?
If God isn't in charge of the destroying and the sparing, then who is?

Nicole said...

I get weary of offending the unbeliever with proclamations that give glory to God in times of divine rescue. The last thing on a person's mind when they have been spared is offending someone with their acknowledgement of and gratitude to God for their survival of a tragedy. Why should the truth be silenced? I'd be willing to bet they weren't gloating.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

It is in my nature to try to understand all things. (It's a sickness, really.) But I also realize that I am incapable of understanding all the ways of God. That fact still doesn't stop me from trying.

God has intervened in my own life. Saved my life once (that I know of), provided a ride once while I was stuck on the side of the road, prodded me to pray for a friend of mine who was on the other side of the world (and in trouble). Three great stories - I'll post them one day.

With that said, I still must ask myself why me? And sometimes, why not me? Even though I know I probably shouldn't.

Kay said...

I know what you mean, Dayle. It's a strong compulsion for me as well. I want to understand. But I came to a place, (I will be posting the story soon) where a lot of that was tossed aside. It finally became so clear that there is no way I am ever going to comprehend the ways of God.
But I get ya, man. I get ya.

Nicole said...

Me, too, Dayle. Same questions. Me, too, Kay. Same conclusion.

Janet Rubin said...

And really...I'm glad we don't get it. Our God is too big for us to understand. And that's cool. My little children don't understand all the reasons I do things. But they know I love them and will take care of them and that they can trust me..