Friday, September 8, 2017

Why We Should Care About Natural Disasters

Here in Houston we have been through Hurricane Harvey. For some of us, the hurricane has passed. We are dry and getting on with our lives.

But for several in our congregation they are still in various stages of dealing with the after effects of the storm. They are dealing with minor to major flood losses. They still need our help to one extent or another. So, we cannot just move on with our lives just yet.

More than that another hurricane, Irma, is raging the Caribbean and a threat to the islands and the mainland of the United States. If Hurricane Irma was not enough to worry about, we also have Hurricane Jose building up steam. While Jose is a long ways out, it is a threat of which it would wise to be mindful.

If hurricanes were not enough to worry about, we also have wildfires raging in Montana and Idaho. As of today, about 118,000 acres have been blackened. This pushes the current wildfire into the category of a mega-fire. Wildfires are not only being battled in Montana, but in California and in the Province of Victoria in Canada.

For us living in Houston, we’ve got our problems to worry about so who cares about disasters going on in other areas?

My point is we should care about suffering and loss going on elsewhere even if we did not suffer loss from Harvey.

From my perspective going through the experience of Hurricane Harvey heightened my sense of empathy and compassion for those going through disasters in faraway locations. Suffering faraway may not impact me directly, but I understand a little bit better what they are going through. Frankly, I don’t want anyone to go through a Harvey.

We have the perfect example of Jesus Christ in regard to man’s suffering. Jesus is far from the suffering that goes on all around this globe and as a spirit being why should He care? Thankfully, He does care and cared enough to become a human being in order to better understand the suffering that goes with being a human being.

Paul wrote of Christ’s experience in Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time
of need.”

Jesus Christ through His human experience understands the ups and downs of human life. He can sympathize with the weakness of mankind and extend mercy and grace to mankind even if they don’t deserve it.

We live in a time when there are a multitude of disasters unfolding or about to unfold. We know what it is to suffer through a disaster. Hopefully, our experience has helped us to be more sympathetic toward those who are suffering.

My hope and prayer is that God would be merciful toward those who could be impacted by the hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. If we cannot help directly, we all have the opportunity to go before the throne of grace to beseech God to help those who are in fear and suffering.

Enjoy the Sabbath rest and pray that all will be able to enjoy the rest that God provides soon.

Gary Smith