“And rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” (Joel 2:13, ESV)
There are disasters – tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and fires. There is not a day that goes by where these things are not happening somewhere in the world. Right now the state of Nebraska is being hit with severe flooding. A cyclone ravaged Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe with 140 dead and more missing. There are probably more, but this was just a quick glance at the headlines.
There are also personal disasters where the world seems to come crashing down. There are the storms of life. At times, you can be filled with great uncertainty when it seems that forces beyond your control are pressing in.
As long as we live in this world, we will be subject to calamity. But we can find comfort to know that God relents over disaster. Jesus doesn’t prevent the storm, but he is the one who calms the storm. Peace is not the absence of the storm. Peace is the presence of Christ amid the storm.
We possess hope in the storm. God can make the worst storms in your life work for your good. Disasters teach us to trust in God. Although we never wish for a storm in life, there are times we can look back and realize it was the best thing that could have happened to us. It is in the most difficult moments of life that we learned true dependence on God.
Disasters are also an opportunity to show the mercy of God. We have a God that offers help and hope. He often does this through the willing hands and feet of his people. Our church is preparing to prepare 75,000 meals for children in Haiti this June. This is one small way we seek to offer compassion. If you are interested in helping, you can find more information on our website on how you can help.
In the end, know the Jesus has overcome. No disaster is so great that it has power over us. At the worst, a disaster can claim our lives, but it cannot claim our eternity. It’s all about perspective. We realize that no storm is greater than our God.