Thursday, February 24, 2011

Christchurch: "Why me?"

“Why Me?” “What have I done to deserve this?” These are questions we all ask at times of distress, and now especially those injured or bereaved in the Christchurch earthquake.

As we look to Libya it’s easier to find an answer, or at least someone to blame. Desperate people do desperate things, and the deranged Gadhafi is raining destruction on those for whom he is responsible.

But the answer may be closer to home than we are willing to admit. We are all aware of psycho-somatic illness; that the state of the mind affects the body. Similarly, the moral or immoral state of humankind affects the earth’s stability.

The escalating natural disasters: wildfires, floods, storms, global warming, landslides, and earthquakes are a simple cause and effect, just as the cause of a Libyan’s death is the effect of a shot from Gadhafi’s mercenary.

Scripture supports the claim that the instability of the earth results from sin. It commences with Adam (Genesis 3:18), continues with the nations (Leviticus 18:27–28), and Israel itself (Isaiah 32:12–13).

I can hear your complaint: “Are you suggesting my sin provokes all this?”

There is no hierarchy of sin. Our sin differs from Gadhafi only in degree, not substance. Jesus declared the thought as evil as the deed (Matthew 5:21–22 and 28). And as long as humankind—of which we are all a part—engages in murderous rampage, both in thought or deed, the planet will tremble.

Really, the answer to “Why me?” is “Why not me?” We all share common guilt—as much as we want to distance ourselves from Gadhafi—and all deserve the same fate. What is astonishing is that God offers us forgiveness, through Christ who paid our penalty, if we are prepared to recognize and repent of our sin.

That same amazing grace will finally answer the planet’s instability, when “creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).

And for those of us who suffer loss from the effects of sin, He offers the comfort we need (Psalm 23:4). 

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