Monday, March 14, 2011

The Japan Disaster: Why?

Every disaster on this scale raises a host of feelings: shock at it’s suddenness, helplessness at the scale of the carnage, but most of all confusion, even anger, at the meaninglessness of it all.

Questions invade our minds. Where is God in all this, why does He allow it? Is this a judgement of sorts on the people or nation? For Christians, the juxtaposition between the calamity and God’s love is especially poignant. Is life, after all, just a matter of chance?

While Christians believe there is a final answer to these questions, the murkiness of our flawed understanding will always leave some mystery unexplained in this life. We see “through a glass darkly,” our view circumscribed by our ignorance, reminding us that our walk is by faith, not by sight.

Of course, pat answers are no help to anyone, especially those made destitute, bereaved, or maimed in minutes. For them, the questions must wait; our duty is to bring succour and relief within our capabilities. But the questions remain, hanging as an oppressive cloud over the event.

Volumes are written on the subject of suffering, yet every catastrophe casts a shadow of doubt on all our attempts at answers. Each time it causes us to review the fragility of life, our view of the purpose of life, and the paradox of human disaster and a God of love.

I would like to discuss these questions together in succeeding blogs. Please feel free to share your ideas.


Ian Lawson said...

Great questions Bryan. I don't have an answer. But I do believe in and trust in the absolute sovereignty of God in all matters, including natural disasters. I think that this devastation, as horrific as it is, reminds us of the fallen world in desperate need of redemption. I prayed this morning that it will be a means to remind all of us that there is no security whatsoever found in this world. My prayer is that Japan will become the Korea of the 21st Century, honoring the true God of Israel and Jacob. For what it's worth, that's what I think . . .

Chloe Collin said...

The conundrum of such a massive disaster, the un-reality of it all, even looking at the pictures, numb the heart and mind, as it can`t fully conceive the destruction`s immensity. Thanks for your thoughts, Bryan. God`s purposes are always for our good. Give us grace, God, to live according to Your reality, as though we really trusted Your character, and lived in light of the hope of the Gospel!
Looking forward to the next posts.

Chloe Collin said...

The immensity of the devastation numbs my mind . . . even pictures do not help; it`s hard to believe the destruction is so vast. God`s plans are always for our good, and His glory. God help us pray and love and live in accordance with Your truth in these explosive, tragic, beautiful days.
Looking forward to your next posts.