... The wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory. Isaiah 41:16b
A few weeks ago most of us didn't know what EF5 stood for.
Now we know, and we wish we didn't. Now we know an EF5 is the biggest, nastiest, most destructive tornado that can be measured. At least one of the tornadoes that hit the southern states last month was rated an EF5. As the others are evaluated, it is expected they will be awarded a similar unpleasant rating.
Because we have seen the pictures and films we also know that any tornado -- no matter what the rating -- has the ability to flatten homes, turn a community upside down and mess with plans, hopes, families, futures and lives.
What some are not sure of is why?
Why do such storms happen and why do they hurt so many good people? We want to know if God has the power to stop such things, why doesn't He? Surely a caring God could do that, couldn't He? These are the kinds of questions that can sometimes shake a Christian's faith.
This is why some answers need to be given. First, you should know these things happen because this is a sinful world and a sinful world produces terrible things. When good people get in the path of a terrible thing, especially an EF5 tornado, they will get hurt.
And why doesn't the all-powerful God stop these tornadoes? It's certainly not because He doesn't care, He does care. Although every storm like this does produce stories of miraculous deliverances, generally the Lord does not directly and miraculously intervene. Generally the Lord, who has called this world's laws into being, lets those laws function unchanged.
Does that sound like He doesn't care? If so, look at the manger of Bethlehem; look at the scourged Savior; stand before Calvary's cross. Never think, not for a moment, that God doesn't care. So we might escape the eternal penalties of sin, Jesus lived, died and rose.
Because of what Jesus has done, an EF5 doesn't have the final word in the lives of God's people.
Never! And that deliverance is the handiwork of a caring God.
THE PRAYER: Father in heaven, we come to You and ask that You will send an extra measure of the Holy Spirit upon those whose lives have been upset and torn apart by these tornadoes. Be with all those who are trying to recover from a disaster. Be with them and let them see that Jesus is the Victor over sin and sin's worst actions. In the Name of the Lord Jesus I pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries