Sunday, May 1, 2011

Earthquakes and Tornadoes:

My wife and I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area during the earthquake of 1989. In California you get used to quakes. They happen weekly. So often you begin to live with it and stop remembering how dangerous they can be. Hey, the boat is leaking! That's OK, not enough to be concerned. The pump will take care of it. That was like the attitude back there in October of 1989. Then the big one hit. Everything changed. News coverage was based in San Francisco. Not because that was the epicenter, but because all roads and bridges out of San Francisco were blocked. The World Series was being played. All eyes were on the Bay Area. So they reported from there. It was devastating. Buildings collapsed, no power and chaos galore. The Bay Area was not the epicenter. It took days until reports from the outlying areas showed the real damage along the fault lines of the earthquake. Nearly 8 days passed until help and organization came into play. The San Francisco Bay Area has over 6 million people. The Quake of 89 should have killed more. Where was God? Right along with us, side-by-side.

April of 2011 here in Alabama. The weather radio in the house went off. Advising us of an incoming storm. I had signed up for weather alerts through my cell phone months before. Every time it began to rain my phone alert would sound off. Not this time. We do not have TV. Radio reception is poor where we live. We checked the internet and saw the predictions of bad weather coming. The bulk of the storm was to hit us by 7 PM. At 7:05 PM it did. Wind and rain beat on the house. Yet this time the cell service went out. The local city sirens went off. They had done that before, but this time was different. The power flickered a bit. Overall it was not bad. Cell phone service returned and we started to receive calls from California asking if we were alright? Then they told us of the tornadoes touching down throughout the state of Alabama.

We went online and found a live feed broadcasting from Birmingham. The devastation was unbelievable. Unlike an earthquake that hits everywhere all at once with no warning. Here was this funnel over a mile wide slowly ripping through the state. Leaving death and destruction in its wake. Multiple tornadoes touched down all over the state. Surrounding our county but not within it. Why were we spared?

Days later thousands remain homeless. Thousands more without power, water or just basic necessities. Like the quake in California. It will take a week or more for help and organization to come. Again the question comes up. Where is God in all this? Still right beside us. In an earlier article I explained there is nothing natural about natural disasters. See: (Weeds in the garden tells us everything)

If there is anything we can learn from these disasters is that we are not prepared. I am gong to die. You are going to die. We are going to die. Could be today. Could be tomorrow. Could be a hundred years from now. The fact is we are going to die. That is the truth. We do not want to hear the truth. We ignore it at times. Deny it most of the time. Thank ourselves lucky when it misses us. The truth is that we are not ready for it. Not physically or spiritually.

I was once told this following story. Back not so long ago in a farming community. Very few had running water or indoor plumbing. It was even rare if one house had the luxury of a radio. If one did. Others relied on them for news and weather warnings. One day such a warning came over the radio. The father told his son to run over to the neighbor's home down the way and tell them a tornado is coming our way. The boy took off. Along the way he saw a bird in a tree. He stopped as some boys do. Then threw a rock at the bird. Missing it. So he decided to wait. The bird came back. He threw another rock striking the bird. The boy went over and picked up the bird. Blood dripping onto his hands. Suddenly in the distance a roar and an explosion echoed through the valley. The little boy could see the home of his neighbors being ripped to pieces. The family there scattered to the wind like rag dolls. The boy quickly ran home. His father had seen, from a distance, the devastation of his neighbor's home. He saw his boy running home. Quickly taking him into his arms. Asking, “Oh son what took you so long? We were so worried about you.” The boy explained that he never made it to the neighbor's home. Then the father saw the blood on the boy's hands. He knelt to his son and ask if the boy was injured. The boy said, “No, father it's the bird's blood.” The father said to the boy, “No, son it is the blood of our neighbors for failing to warn them.”

We as Christians are commanded to warn others of the judgment that is coming. How many who have recently died now face a second death?

Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death.
Rev 20:14 (NLT)

Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.
Rev 2:11 (NLT)

And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned."
Mark 16:15-16 (NLT)

God's Word is tough I know. These are hard words to take right now. They are the truth. There are so many here in our state hurting. Their lives not just turned upside down, but all the way back to zero. Thousands here in Alabama will have to start life all over again because everything they once had is just plain gone. Scattered debris over hundreds of miles. They are alive. Why were they spared?

If there is a clear sign for the need for healing and revival now is the time. Prayer and the simple need to serve others is now before us. Pray that it is not the devil who gathers the harvest.

Teach, Preach and Reach!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very good!


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