This morning there is word of the death toll in Oklahoma from the devastating tornadoes that ripped through that area. Lord have mercy! I say that not as a way of cursing or being shocked but I am asking that the Lord have mercy upon us all. It is a terrible thing to have happen. No one should have to go through such terrible and total devastation that comes from such a mean storm.
Really? No one should go through such a thing? There but for the grace of God go I! That actually should be me facing that kind of terror. What I want to face is blue skies and sunny weather and smooth sailing. The desire of my heart is to not have to face such terror (and I pray that don't ever have to face such a terror!) I pray that none of you have to face such devastation. But the reality is that we face that every single day. "We face death all day long. We are like sheep lead to the shearers." (Romans 3)
This is the terrible world that we live in. Because of sin, because of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden those 6,000 years ago, this world is tearing itself apart. It is man against nature, nature against man. Man against man. Man against himself. Suffering, pain, rejection, sickness, devastation, and the whole gamut of things are our lot in life. We should face those situations each and every day. There, but for the grace of God...
This is where the message of the Gospel comes into play in our lives and in our world. The Almighty, who should have nothing to do with sinners like you and me, steps into this world, into our pain of our lives, the pain of the devastation in Oklahoma, the suffering in our illnesses, the grief of our loss, and He carries us (and it). He comes to our lives and brings hope in the midst of hopelessness, peace in the midst of suffering, joy in the midst of grief, love in the midst of loveless situations. He comes for us!
He takes our burdens, our sorrows, our griefs, our pains and our loss and replaces them with hope, life, a future and His love. How great He is! I thought of that hymn this morning as I read about the destruction. Why? Because He is the only One who can bring to the people of Oklahoma any sort of consolation. It is that message that you and I need to proclaim loudly and clearly in the face of such destruction. It is that which we should lay before those who are struggling in their lives because of whatever situation they are facing.
We have nothing more than the hope given in Christ Jesus. We NEED nothing more than the hope given in Christ Jesus. Let us not forget to share the gospel hope with one another and with those in need: "How Great Thou Art!"