November 14, 2018
Sitting in the comfort of our home, I thought about the events taking place in northern and southern California, where fires are burning out of control. Loss of homes and possessions is painful, but not nearly as much as loss of lives. To know that people were trapped and burned to death is more than I can comprehend.
I pondered, “Why them?” “Why not me?” “What is the purpose of it all?” “Where is God in all of this?” “Could He prevent this tragedy?” “Why do people have to suffer?” “Why that area and not somewhere else?” I feel a little like the writer of Ecclesiastes, who pondered real-life situations from the human perspective and came up with few answers.
Obviously, I am not putting God on trial or questioning His sovereignty. Nor is my faith shaken by these questions. I know the big-picture answers: The world is under the curse of sin and there will be pain and death until Jesus puts everything in order. Human pain is temporary. God is definitely in control. Eventually we will understand.
I would never suggest to the people in California that the fires are discipline from God. If that were the situation, I would not escape. And why God allows these terrible events to hit certain parts of the world and leaves other places at peace is not mine to know. But I do know that all pain and death is the result of Adam’s sin, inherited by each of us. The remedy brought to us in Jesus will have ultimate victory on Planet Earth. In fact, a new earth will replace this one someday.
I conclude that logic is not sufficient to answer our questions. Faith overshadows logic. I rest in the confidence that Creator God knows what is taking place, makes no mistakes in what He allows or prevents, and that nothing is going on that violates His holiness. My part is to pray, believe and, if there are ways I can bring comfort to hurting people, do what I can.
Pastor Bill Ehmann