WILDFIRES, FLOODS, TORNADOES - DESPAIRJesus warned us of these last days and as America faces them and handles them with class and dignified tears, as compared to others....quiet desperation is starting to set in. Here is what the Lord Jesus said "...For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Matthew 24:7-8 ESV)
Each Spring, devastating tornadoes go through the Midwestern USA with impunity. Tornado Alley from Oklahoma/Missouri/Kentucky/Tennessee/Northern Alabama kill dozens of nice folks each year. As we say in Joplin, Mo last year - entire towns can be decimated. Just this past week alone, hurricane Debby blasted southern Florida and Mobile, Alabama with a massive blow and storm clouds which looked like that mile-wide deadly tornado which destroyed almost half of Tuscaloosa, Alabama over a year ago. Parts of Pensacola, Fl. Other coastal cities in Florida are under massive amounts of water.
In the west, massive forest wildfires are out of control and not just costing billions of dollars of damage to property, but altering the lives of many thousands of good American citizens. Colorado Springs is the home to many Christian ministries who witness to and disciple and literally feed thousands here and worldwide. Their reactions have been a blessing to watch, while we grieve with them. There really is a difference between a Christian and those of the world.
Many look for answers, but friends, the only answer can be found in Jesus and Prayer. To begin to understand, we look at what He said in Matthew 5:45b "...He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous". With that in mind, all we can do is turn to Him in prayer and seek comfort in Him....because.... it is going to get ten times worse! If you read what Jesus said will follow all the famine and wars and earthquakes (and yes, fires, storms etc), it is NOT pretty: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (!!!) (Matthew 24:9-14 ESV)
So why Prayer? Here is what the great EM Bounds said about that:
Prayer in the time of trouble brings comfort, help, hope, and blessings, which, while not removing the trouble, enable the saint to better bear it and to submit to the will of God. Prayer opens the eyes to see God’s hand in trouble. Prayer does not interpret God’s providences, but it does justify them and recognize God in them.
Prayer enables us to see wise ends in trouble.
Prayer in trouble drives us away from unbelief, saves us from doubt, and delivers from all vain and foolish questionings because of our painful experiences.
So Father God, we just pray for those who are in pain, shock, grief and at a total loss to understand what is really happening to them in both Florida, Alabama and Colorado Springs, Lord. They did nothing to deserve the destruction of all they have worked hard for to....and to now see it under flood or burnt up in raging fires. But Lord, let them and us know that You are the God of goodness and compassion and Your Love never fails us because Great is Your Faithfulness, Lord unto us.
Father comfort the victims of these natural disasters in their spirits and then restore them in the physical lives and give them a hope that if they seek You, and repent and trust in the Savior, that they too should have nothing to worry about. Father they need the assurance that this life is but a fleeting vapor and the next life is what's important. Lord we know that many will blame You for their losses, but draw them near to Thee my God and my King and my Creator as You draw us into Your Loving arms and help us all to make sense of this through the Knowledge that Thou art Sovereign and in control and has our very lives in Your Mighty Hands and that if we are truly Yours and believe in You, we really have nothing to worry about, since You have paved the way for our redemption. Help us to help others to see that while they too grieve with us over what is now happening.
Lord and finally, I pray for the firemen and other first responders who are doing amazing work to contain these fires or rescue others from the floods. I pray for their strength and their futures as well as their families. I pray that You bless them for all they do for others, selflessly, in Jesus Holy and Mighty Name, amen.
(images by google)