Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Acts of God? Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Acts of God? Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Insurance companies sometimes term disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, and tornadoes "acts of God." Can God cause destruction and death?

The Bible assures readers that God made all. He is the creator of everything that has reality. Why would He then turn around and destroy what He creates? The only possible reason for destroying one's work would be because one is unhappy with it. But the Bible also assures us of God's satisfaction with His work. Genesis says plainly, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (1:31). God loved what He made.

One of the best assurances there is of God's love for us is found in the teaching of Christ Jesus. Jesus' own words confirm that the mission God gave him was never one involving destruction. He said, "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil" (Matthew 5:17). "Well," you may be thinking, "that's all fine and good, but look at the destruction that has occurred!" Elijah the prophet saw the answer to this. After witnessing a tremendous wind, an earthquake, and a fire, he saw that God was not in these. He then heard God in "a still small voice" (see I Kings 19:11, 12). God's power was seen not in wind and fury, but in quiet and stillness. The next step in this reasoning may seem to be a hard one; it is to see that nothing real is ever destroyed. Looking at flooding, broken or charred buildings, uprooted trees, and especially at death, we don't find this to be true. But in the face of all this, a new sense of reality is to be found that is solid and eternal. What is real? What is lasting? Nothing material lasts forever. The goodness of God is seen in nature's beauty, and as a quality of God beauty is permanent, although material mountains and trees are not. The loveliness of affection, the might of intelligence, the gentleness and goodness of God, are expressed symbolically-by a magnificent sunset, a beautiful home, the glory of cliffs and mountains. Although the material things don't endure, the spiritual qualities they represent can never be taken away. …

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