A student at our school asked me why situations like Hurricane Harvey exist. How could a loving God allow things like this to happen? Not wanting to blurt out a theological puzzle, I asked her how she wanted me to answer her question. Her face became more puzzled, but it allowed for me to offer more than a typical response to the topic of concern.
I told the young lady (whom I will call Beth) that my belief was like the result of a college algebra problem. Sometimes there are no clear answers to many of the tough questions. We can only reduce issues to their simplest form (shout out to my last math tutor). We have to be okay with our limited understanding and trust that God is who the Bible says He is.
Hurricane Harvey: God Is in Control
If He is God, then He knows more than us. If He is God, He is not limited by our reasoning. He is not limited by our measure, time, or rules. He is beyond all that we can comprehend. If He is in control, then we cannot be. We must start with who God is, and not with what we think about an event or situation.
Next, I told Beth that I believe the Bible is the Word of God. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we will be spared trials, problems, pain, or times of need. What the Bible does promise us is that God will never leave his children. Unlike so many who will abandon us when times get tough, He will not.
God is bigger and more sovereign than we acknowledge Him to be. He creates with His words. His will . . . will be done. What He does or allows is not up to our vote of approval.
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, “What have you done?” Daniel 4:35 English Standard Version (ESV)
This is what makes Him God. Although some may take this statement as dogmatic or intense, perhaps we should look at it this way. The very Being that answers to No One loves us. Does this mean that He explains Himself to us? Only if He chooses to.
Hurricane Harvey: Being a Light in the Darkness
So what do we do about what we call tragedy, pain, need, etc? We are supposed to show the world that we belong to Him by our love. This means being a light in the darkness. This means putting our faith into action.
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 English Standard Version (ESV)
Beth looked at me and said, “I get it. We need to ask the right questions. We shouldn’t ask God why He is doing what He is doing, but what does He want us to do in the situation.”
I responded to Beth in an academic affirmation: A+
–-By David Hethcock, Admissions Officer and Tech Support Specialist