Devotional

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.” – Isaiah 55:8-1o.

Hurricane Michael, a “monstrous” storm churning with 155 mph winds, came ashore on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon as the most powerful storm on record. The storm, described by forecasters as “unprecedented,” shattered people’s lives up and down the Emerald Coast of Florida. 

It is easy to look at the carnage of this hurricane, glance skyward and ask God “why?”  Why would God allow this to happen? It is hard to grasp that the God of love would be involved in all these natural disasters. We believers try to protect God’s reputation by putting distance between Him and the terrible suffering that occurred on Wednesday October 10. After all, God is good and would not cause such devastation to happen.

But a moment’s reflection will soon make us realize that of course, God is the ultimate cause of all natural disasters. During the time of the plagues in Egypt, clearly God sent those plagues. Then you have the time of Noah; the flood obviously was sent by God. It says regarding Jonah, God hurled a storm into the sea.

The hurricane happened because God chose to let it happen. The question is why?  I can’t begin to answer that question, but I will say this. Our challenge is to somehow continue to believe God and to trust Him in the midst of tragedy. We need to realize that God can be trusted, even when it seems as if He is not on our side. We have to point people to the fact that God has intervened on our planet by sending Jesus Christ. There we see the love of God most clearly. The other thing you need to realize is that time is short and eternity is long. Sometimes we reverse that. The values that we have here on this earth, although life is precious, the fact is that hurricanes do not increase death. Everybody is going to die someday. But we also need to remember that God has already dealt with evil through the cross and the resurrection. God has acted and evil has been given a death sentence. It’s not as if God allows bad things to happen and that’s His final word. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. During our “very bad days” we wrestle with the question of “why does God allow this?”  Why do you think God allows bad things to happen to you?
  2. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” The “all things” in that verse means exactly what it says. All things. Do you believe that means bad things as well as good things.
  3. Pray and ask God for the strength to trust Him in times of tragedy and trials.