Less than two years ago, Jeff and I visited Joplin only days after a massive Tornado tore through the city.
Our truck turned down a city street and there in front of me, for as far as my eyes could see was devastation. I still don’t have the words to describe what I saw that day. Paved driveways led to piles of debris where houses once stood. Bark had been stolen from the trees. Cars were flipped over and scattered everywhere. We watched people walk through their yards searching for any belongings that still remained.
Those visions came back to me this afternoon as I heard of another Tornado devastating Moore, Oklahoma.
I imagine that tonight thousands will wonder how can God allow natural disasters. They will conclude that He turns a blind eye to the devastastion which follows.
But, what if God never meant for the world to produce such pain? What if, as the Bible tells, God created a perfect world, where death didn’t exist and winter would never come? What if, the effects of sin changed our world? Paul writes, “we know that the whole creation has been groaning”. Earth is not as God created it. Earth is struggling and toiling in pain, turning on itself.
However, there is hope. For one day, “creation itself will be set free from its slavery“. One day, God will transform this world, and the curse of Genesis 3 will be removed. Isaiah prophecies that,
“The wolf will romp with the lamb,
the leopard sleep with the kid.
Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,
and a little child will tend them.
Cow and bear will graze the same pasture,
their calves and cubs grow up together,
and the lion eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens,
the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent.
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
on my holy mountain.
The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive.”
One day, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. One day, all will be made right. What a day that will be.