Saturday Sermon: See God's will during life's earthquakes
By the Rev. Ronald O. Green
Each of us has been greatly impacted by the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. The enormous loss of life and property, coupled with ongoing long-term agony and trauma that the survivors have to endure, is nothing short of horrific.
It is virtually impossible to give any reasonable, rational and acceptable explanation for such a tragic event; yet in the midst of our confusion and questions, we must still trust God and be confident that He knows what He is doing in allowing such a disaster to occur.
Earthquakes are a powerful illustration of Paul's words in Romans 8:19 that even the earth itself groans for redemption and the return of Christ. The tragedy and the worldwide attention it has invoked also fit into God's purpose.
Scripture teaches that when God shakes the physical realm, it's because He's up to something in the spiritual realm (Hebrews 12:25-29). With the world focused on the threat of worldwide terrorism, coupled with the earthquake disasters, the stage is truly set for the return of Christ in fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
In addition to these visible earthquakes, people all over the world are undergoing their own personal earthquakes. Their worlds are being shattered by the earthquakes of divorce, discouragement, addictions, hopelessness and fear. The crisis of the world at large can be seen in the lives of people everywhere.
For this reason, we should be committed more than ever to proclaiming God's word to those who are undergoing their spiritual earthquakes.
We must accept and be willing to share with others the fact that life on Earth is a temporary assignment. The Bible is full of metaphors that teach about the brief, temporary, transient nature of life on earth.
Rick Warren, in his book, "The Purpose Driven Life," describes life as a "mist, a fast runner, a breath, a wisp of smoke." The Bible says, "for we were born but yesterday ... our days on Earth are as transient as a shadow."
So whatever earthquake is raging in your life, it's there for a purpose. In order for God to keep us from becoming to attached to this world, God allows us to feel or experience a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life - longings that will never be filled on this side of eternity. Tragic as physical or personal earthquakes can be, it is a mistake to think God does not care. God cares dearly. We must never question God's purpose.
We often get bogged down with the "whys." Why me God? If anything, the question should be what do we do now in our earthquakes of life? Whether they are physical or personal. The answer is "to not let anything separate us from the love of God." (Romans 8:28). "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to this purpose ..."
The Rev. Ronald O. Green is associate pastor of New Light Baptist Church in Woodsboro.