Rita's Reflections

by Rev. Dr. Rita Sims, Pastor of First United Methodist Church, Kosse

There have been numerous natural disasters lately--hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes. Any time tragedies happen, they raise questions as to why. These catastrophes get our attention. If we are in their path, we struggle to survive them. As observers, we empathize with those suffering due to them. Some believe that disaster strikes as a form of punishment for sin. Others believe that the frequency of natural disasters point to the end of time.


My perspective is that there is no easy answer for the suffering in life. Some suffering happens due to poor choices that people make. Those errant decisions may be made due to poor role models, the power of sin and evil or lack of foresight or sheer ignorance. Sometimes these poor and misguided options bring a small amount of suffering; other times it is on a global scale. Accidents that happen that bring harm may be simply that--accidents. People have faulty eyesight or reflexes or muscles sometimes that bring injury. The natural disasters that are currently occurring are often part of God's created order of the universe. I do not claim to be a scientist, but there are often scientific answers for these calamities and sometimes people are in the path of the turmoil of creation. It does not mean that God purposefully targeted certain people to suffer due to the natural phenomena. After all, Jesus said, "Rain falls on the just and the unjust." (Mt. 5:45)


Christians generally believe that some of the suffering due to poor choices or evil may be rectified by people opening themselves to the power of God working to guide, save and heal people--individuals and even nations. Sometimes there is a mystery to accidents that happen and sometimes we realize that we needed to offer greater attention, time and thought to have avoided an accident. Part of the natural disasters happening may have something to do with our collective sin as well. Perhaps we have not cared for the earth as we ought to have that has led to an unplanned imbalance in God's created order. The scriptures speak also of even creation crying out when there is injustice or neglect of God and God's ways. Jesus spoke of famine and earthquakes being the birth pangs for the end of the age in Matthew 24:7. Perhaps this is the case. God has not revealed that to me, however.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

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