The occurrence of a disaster is never a good time to make leverage for why environmental catastrophes happen, as world and regional leaders pull together in response and recovery efforts.
But we cannot help to ponder if these events mean something significant for our future, as Christians and non-Christians alike sit stunned.
Answering a Question Without An Answer
Apart from scientific evidence, which is always questioned anyway, how do we answer a question that has no definitive answer? Like, is this the beginning of the end?
It seems an irrational standpoint, but it’s what our minds fly to first, especially as we string together a sequence of multiple events.
But we cannot know anything other than what occurs in real time with the information that comes streaming to us via television and the internet. Whilst we’re infinitely better informed than previous generations were, we’re no better off regarding if there’s a broader meaning to the trend of environmental disasters.
What Should We Do?
Despite wrangling for theological meaning that the end-of-the-world-schoolers shall spruik, we have an obligation to do one thing that the Lord Jesus commanded:
“Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”
~Matthew 24:42 (NRSV).
For the uninitiated, what’s referred here is the end of the world as we know it. Jesus tells us not to worry and speculate, but be prepared.
These environmental emergencies that have occurred, and are occurring, and will continue to occur shouldn’t be glibly attributed to the end of the world, but still we’re to be prepared the best we can in any event.
From a practical viewpoint, being ready—and indeed awake—is preparing our own houses, as well as reaching out in aid of those distressed communities and individuals, to the ability implicit of our personal and positional call of God.
We continue doing the best we can. We don’t, however, make foolish attributions, for these would be against the will of God, per the above commandment of Jesus; that is, barring prophesy, for the prophetic ministry has God’s anointing. Heaven only help the ‘prophet’ prophesying disobediently, nevertheless.
What To Do Now!
Besides getting our houses in order, we have another role besides physical and emotional help, if we’re rightly placed.
That is the burden to pray.
Although we may be too far away from impact zones to intercede at a truly heartfelt level, we can still pray for God’s alleviation, as well as praise God for those saved from the ravenous mouth of these disasters.
God wants us to turn back and seek the favour and face of the Lord, and not simply at the foot of disaster, but for the sake of a kingdom far beyond what we see here.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.