Catastrophes

Taken from Creation Dynamics I

Catastrophes

God has blessed us with free-will but at its worst, free will can lead to catastrophe. There are four groups of catastrophes or where things go wrong. They are natural disasters, accident and tragedy, personal heartache and disease. A common attack on people that believe in God is to question how God could allow such suffering in the world, how could God stand to one side and just watch as terrible disasters unfold. A blasé reply to these attacks is to just say that none of it is the fault of God and it is the devil that is doing it. This is not a comfortable retort and leaves a lot to be desired, not least the fact that God made the devil. So again, why does God allow catastrophes?

Natural Disasters

History is littered with the catastrophic cost in human lives due to such things as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, tsunami’s and volcanic eruptions to name a few. Why did God make a planet that is constantly developing these threats to the safety of life?

Society is imperfect due to the culture of sin. Sinning not just by being disrespectful to God but by being quite evil to each other. It makes for the analogy that an imperfect society will get an imperfect world. Conversely, a perfect society will make for a perfect world and this balance was the intention of God. It is clear, from the Bible that God, if He indeed made the world, did make the Earth perfect. It is still perfect in the sense that it is in a perfect position in the galaxy and from the Sun etc. So far as we know it is the most perfect planet in the Universe, for life. But for sure, due to natural disasters, it is not quite so perfect now and, according to Scripture, this is due to the fall of humankind as outlined early in the Genesis account. And because of this fallen nature we will not see beyond our own self-importance, so we will always blame God (even if we don’t believe in him) rather than ourselves.

Accidents/Tragedies 

It is horrible news when a plane or train crashes or if someone gets killed when, for example, innocently trying to do a good deed. Accidents and tragedies come about in so many unexpected and sudden ways. An avoidable tragedy, a car accident, someone falling off a cliff or building and similar unexpected happenings all leave you with the question as to why, especially if someone you know is involved. Would it be that hard for God to save someone or to just create some extra airflow to let the plane land safely? It would be difficult because God would probably have to constantly suspend the laws of physics to avert accidents. And it would also doubtless lead to people nonchalantly walking in front of buses knowing that there was no danger, as God would save them.

Personal Heartache

No matter what you might say under the two headings above and the one below, if personal heartache is involved, then coming to terms with any disaster, accident or disease and trying to square that with a Loving God is extremely difficult. Having to go through the pain of having a loved one innocently suffer, attacked or killed is abhorrent, no matter what circumstances may have led to it. A mother (& father) experiencing the terribleness of a miscarriage is totally devastating. There is little that can be said and little that can be done when someone has their life badly changed or ended, it is a travesty at how many innocent people including many children suffer whilst a good many evil people seem to live on unharmed.

The notion that we have a God but can also have personal heartache at the same time is an area, which should be addressed. It is one thing to talk about our origins and then encourage ourselves to believe that our beginnings came from God, however we do have to wonder as to why heartache has been created.

This subject though is far too delicate to be properly and thoroughly analysed within our thesis on Creation, it would be grossly insensitive and unforgivably flippant to address such a topic within but a few explanatory notes. However, with the greatest respect, with enormous sympathy, understanding and tenderness, a few words of insight are offered solely for the purposes of looking at God as a Creator and not to justify, make sense or to give a reason as to why any dreadful horror should occur or should ever occur. Personal heartache stretches faith to the limit and it can break it. God understands this.

What we must not forget is that these things are happening anyway. When something terrible happens many will blame God, even atheists will, extraordinary as that may sound. The fundamental cry is one that questions as to how a God can exist yet allow horrible things to happen. Yet if God did not exist the event would still happen. [1] Without God a natural disaster is what it is. Accidents and disease will happen whether by human error, bad luck or infection. Again, it revolves around free will. Without God we have an unchecked free will system, one not contained by our own human morality and dignity as some may profess, these lines are frequently breached. With God there is an ultimate account for our actions. Without God the plane crash will still happen and the loss of loved ones will be mourned and great sorrow will engulf those affected. With God the plane crash will still happen and the loss of loved ones will be mourned and great sorrow will engulf those affected but, crucially, with God we have hope because with God there is more to existence that what science can reveal.

Sometimes things happen that seem to be such a waste of human life, especially if life is lost through a mistake or accident, or by a random killing. It is so hard then to answer the question of why. Without God the question will be answered with a “Stuff happens” kind of conclusion.

With God we will eventually get real answers and by real answers that does mean good answers, satisfying answers and answers that deliver. Answers from God will deliver a fulfilling of the heart and that is our hope and our faith. With God we can be assured that our grief, whether for a day, a year, a decade or a lifetime, is only temporary. With God we will be forever satisfied within an eternal realm, so our grief on Earth can almost be declared as momentary [2]. Having said that, I know from personal experience what might be momentary in an eternal setting, happens to be downright punishing when living life in grief.

Disease

This is a nasty category of life. The simple answer of course is that we brought disease on ourselves at that moment of Adam’s original sin. Despite this though we have two areas of control, one is in the healing powers of those with a healing gift, for example if someone has the gift of patience and can nurture someone through a debilitating illness long enough for the sufferer to regain strength and recover. The other is in medicine where we have made great advances in combating devastating afflictions. Whether we will ever be able to eradicate all disease is highly debateable, even if we did there would remain the disease of the mind, which compels us towards bad acts against fellow man, or woman.

It is erroneous to generalise over the deep heartache and suffering that many endure by attributing such difficulties in life to one man (Adam) who sinned. It is of no comfort whatsoever to say things are down to the Will of God either, so there must be a deeper connection with the Universe that is causing if you like ‘bad luck’. This connection could be the link of chance or the link of coincidence or the link of chaos, unpredictability and randomness.

Alternatively, if you can maintain faith that God is in Control, then you have an assurance that any personal hell you endure will be replaced eventually with a Divine Blessing, and this does give some slight stability when grief collapses the circle of life you are living in. We still ask the question though that if God is at the heart of our welfare, then why doesn’t He do something about tragic events, why does He not just stop some things from happening. If He can protect the Earth as a jewel in the Universe, why not protect the people on it? It is easy to ask this question but to work out how such a question could be answered is extremely hard.

[1] A terrorist attack might be deemed to happen only because of religion, but even here the terrorist could just be using God as an excuse to carry out an atrocity.

[2] 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 

I can recommend a good poem called ‘Footprints’ but, for a practical hold, maybe we should think about the Divinity of God. Our Heavenly Father shares our grief in times of great upset, His Spirit yearns that we seek Him during these moments so that He can become a Comforter for us.

And because Jesus took on everyone’s combined pain in one hit, at the Cross, true redress can be achieved and yes, all wounds can be healed. And the great thing is that all healing will last for an eternity.

Remember, there will be no tears of sorrow in Heaven, so if you are lucky enough to get there, then any pain, distress or grief you have or are experiencing will disappear in ways that are wholeheartedly personal to you, ways that will make you so joyous you will want to just sing to God forever and a day. This is faith in God.

Alas, there are those who cannot share this philosophy, they believe the Universe came about through dead mechanisms and that life is just short hard momentary sections divided up in murmurs of time.

So the question is always going to be asked as to whether God is truly real. Maybe, in some small way, this website might assist in answering such a question but at a distance behind a good read of the Bible, an effort to obtain a personal relationship with our Creator and, having a good Church Minister for advice.

God Bless