Monday, May 30, 2011

Where is God?

The sky was covered with gloomy clouds and Grey heavens. The Sun would pop out every now and then like a jack in a box on steroids. The anxiety of being overwhelmed filled our hearts and fogged our minds as we traveled to our destination. Flashes of the pictures on TV kept trotting across my mind like a herd of gazelles on the African plains. " What would we find there?" " Do the pictures on the TV really give it justice?" " How would the people be after going through such an horrific ordeal?" Tears weld up in my eyes as I thought about the impact on the lives of so many. I could not imagine loosing my loved ones and on top of that everything I own or have. I know with Christ I would carry on but oh what a struggle it would be. Our conversation in the car went back and forth with these similar thoughts. I could not help but wonder if we could make a difference in some minute way. Who are we? Just three guys with some chain saws , healthy backs, and filled with the love for their God and for their fellow man.

We arrive at our destination which was a local church. They were working with the local disaster teams and helped manage volunteer teams. They had no problem putting us straight to work in the facility, which I loved, by means of moving some boxes around. We helped clear a room for some Pediatricians who were going to offer free care to the victims. I thought this was awesome to know and see. Wow!!!! It is sad that it takes Human tragedy to bring out the best of us as human beings and Christians. Nonetheless, it was humbling to see.

Finally, we got our orders to follow the team of chain sawing and debris moving volunteers who were heading to the Disaster Zone caused by an E5 Tornado. Unfortunately, we got separated from the team and could not find them but we found the Disaster Zone easy enough.

Driving to the Disaster Zone was pretty eerie. That tightening you get in your belly got worst and my emotions started to flare. We started traveling down old Route 66 and our eyes beheld the devastation.Wal-Mart was completely destroyed a shell of building which seemed to be barely standing. Businesses all around were crushed or ripped apart. Cars were turned over on their sides. Some of the cars looked like a giant with a big foot came down and stepped on them. It was a sight to behold. Over to my right there hung a huge American Flag flying in the distance. It was perched on a large mechanical crane high in the air for all to see. Tears began to surface to my eyes and drip down my cheeks. The American heart is one made up of hard perseverance and faith in someone Higher than ourselves. It is our heritage and our foundation. Seeing that Flag did something in me. It reminded my of how proud I am for being born in a great nation. Yes,  a nation with troubles and problems but still a great nation. My patriotic spirit seemed to be revived in that brief moment. I did not realize how important that flag would be until later. It marked the entrance of the worst devastation our country as ever seen from a Tornado in over 60 years.

As we progressed into the Disaster Zone, we would become more amazed at the devastation. " How could anyone survive this?" were our topics of discussion. "  This looks like a bomb went off ." and it did. It looked like some of the pictures I have seen of World War II and the dropping of the Atom bomb over Japan. It was that devastating. There were no more street signs , so you did not know where you were going. We got separated from our team and never did find them in the midst of the Disaster Zone. We decided to go house to house and see who needed help. Help was surely needed. We were able to give a helping hand to several families. We just  cut up fallen trees so owners could get to their belongings. I wondered if we were doing any good. The destruction of these homes were beyond repair, but just showing the residents that we care was , too me, a great impact. There were people helping everywhere. Organizations like Samartian's Purse, Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing, and local churches  were scattered everywhere. It was humbling to see so many people helping so many people. There were neighbors whose homes were not affected helping their neighbors who lost so much.

We were able to drive by and see the destruction of the local Hospital and some nursing homes. One Nursing Home seemed to be totally demolished. Wheel chairs were mangled and crushed within the rubble. Across the street a church was destroyed but the huge Cross still stood proud in front of the ruins. Every where you went people were helping each other. It look like an ant farm and the busy ants were moving.

We were amazed as we listened to the survival stories from these great people. Many were happy to be alive and have their families with them. Others lost families and friends and the weight of depression was upon them. Please continue to pray for the people of Joplin,MO. I know the Lord is working in the midst of this tradgey. He can take a bad situation and turn it around for His good. He did not cause the destruction; nature did. He gives us a choice to live our lives with or without Him. Right now we are still under the dispensation of man. There is coming a day when that will change.

Seeing all that destruction puts a new perspective on life. LIFE IS SHORT!!!!  The bible says the following about life.

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

It seems silly to be caught up in petty squabbles. It seems silly to be caught up in arguments. Families hating each other for no reason and friends breaking a part of petty differences. It seems foolish when you compare it to those who have lost so much. For some , their family members will never return. They will never have a chance to spend Thanksgiving meals with them again or other holidays. Today is Memorial Day where families cook out together and remember our fallen heroes. For some that is forever gone. Why does it take a tragedy for people to peel away the reality of life? Why are some people so selfish that they only see there issues and could care less for anyone else? Why do some people make mountains out of mole hills in their lives?  Life is short. What will your life hold in the end? If I die today or tomorrow or several years from now. What will my life have spoken to the many people I know? Who would be at my funeral? What would my Eulogy be like? I would hope many would see my compassion and love for the Human Race. I hope they would see me as someone who loved God with all of His heart and tried to live according His truth not Relativism which is running rapid in today's society.

The question of the day is where is God? Why did not God stop this tragedy or prevent it? Why did God allow it happen? These are all valid questions but unfortunately not many want to hear or receive the answers. God has allowed man to make his choices. We can choose the Lord or not. Sin has left the world in disarray. Sin took a perfect world without corruption and natural disasters and created a world totally different from God's plan. Because of sin we have natural disasters which simply  hit at any moment and without any warning. The earth is vomiting itself up from the course of sin. Sin affects even the natural state of things.

Leviticus 18:25-27  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.  (26)  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:  (27)  (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)

Because we are all natural beings living in a fallen sinful state, natural disasters affect us all. The bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. As believers we can simply trust in our Lord and call upon his name. Tragedies will still occur but our hope is found only in Him.

So why did not God intervene? His time to intervene with full force upon mankind will one day occur in the not so distant future. Right now , He is waiting for many to turn to Him. He is waiting for sinful hearts to return back to Him. His love is pouring out so all could come back until Him. His ways are better for life. In the midst of Tragedy our God can be felt and He is present. He is simply waiting for all to turn back until Him. God did not cause this pain but He can heal it. The people who are suffering did not come under God's judgement if that was true we all would be destroyed. His judgment has not come yet to the human race. This is simply a natural disaster which occurred during the fallen state of mankind. One day all tears will be wiped away. One day all disasters will cease to exist. One day all pain and suffering will be gone for those who have surrendered their hearts to the loving truth of our God. In the midst of this pain there is hope and the hope will always be in Christ alone.

God is present right now in the midst of all the pain and suffering. He is standing there in the middle. I saw God all over the place this past Saturday. The Scripture passage below explains it a little more.

Matthew 25:31-46  "When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  (32)  The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  (33)  He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.  (34)  "Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  (35)  I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home.  (36)  I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'  (37)  "Then the people who have God's approval will reply to him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink?  (38)  When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear?  (39)  When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'  (40)  "The king will answer them, 'I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.'  (41)  "Then the king will say to those on his left, 'Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels!  (42)  I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink.  (43)  I was a stranger, and you didn't take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn't give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't take care of me.'  (44)  "They, too, will ask, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn't help you?'  (45)  "He will answer them, 'I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.'  (46)  "These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God's approval will go into eternal life."

What ever we do to help others in the name of our Lord. The King of Kings is in the midst of it. God was present working through all the many believers who were down there giving up their time to help others in need. He works through us. May we look differently at the chain of events happening around the world. Yes sin has caused so much pain and suffering but we serve a God that gives us a way out. We have a God which teaches us to love everyone and help them no matter what. This is my stance and this is my passion. I want to share the love of God with everyone I meet. I want to help the hurting and those in pain. I want to make a difference in this life not because I am ordered too. I want to make a difference because I love my God and love people. I don't care what sin they might be in or corruption they might currently have. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I want to show the world that they need Jesus just like I need Jesus. He is our savior and our king. He is right here helping so many with His love and power.

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