Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Disasters and True Happiness

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Disasters and True Happiness

Article excerpt

THIS week in Japan a United Nations conference will review the progress that has been made in reducing the impact of disasters. The meeting marks roughly the halfway point in the UN's International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. The earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, and typhoons that have ravaged the globe in recent years show this is a subject worth attending to. Let's join this effort with our prayers for intelligent solutions. Whenever a disaster strikes, people wonder why it happened. The Bible gives us assurance that suffering isn't God's plan even when our disobedience to His law may lead us into jeopardy. And at the same time, it tells us of God's power and willingness to save us. King Solomon brought home this idea of God's salvation in his prayer recorded in First Kings: "If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpillar; . . . whatsoever sickness there be; what prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people . . . : then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways" (I Kings 8:37-39). Christ Jesus' ministry further clarified the nature of God by explaining that God is a loving Father who sends only good, not evil, to us, His spiritual offspring. It is the belief that we are material beings living in an equally material world with finite resources, land, opportunities, that leads us to make disastrous choices. In her Miscellaneous Writings, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says, "A false sense of what constitutes happiness is more disastrous to human progress than all that an enemy or enmity can obtrude upon the mind or engraft upon its purposes and achievements wherewith to obstruct life's joys and enhance its sorrows" (pp. …
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