Is God trying to get our attention?
Editor’s note: Dr. Lovorn’s column was unavailable this week. The following column by Dr. Lovorn was originally published on Sept. 11, 2016.
Q. Because of the many natural disasters in our country and worldwide sorrows, I wonder if God is trying to get our attention. Nancy Voigt, Colonial Heights, VA
A. God is always trying to get our attention. He created us to fellowship with him and to do his will (Psalm 100:3; Revelation 4:11). God wants to speak to us every day in the wonders of nature, through the Bible, by his Spirit, and through his messengers. In order to hear him, we must be available to listen. If we don’t, how can we begrudge God’s doing what he must to get our attention? Many of the recent hardships in America are considered “acts of God” because we have no control over hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, drought, and fires. Maybe God, in mercy, is reminding our once-Christian nation that he is still on the Throne. Scripture does record many times when God allowed turmoil to show his displeasure. The worldwide Flood of Genesis 7 is an extreme example. But, lesser examples are found in such passages as 1 Samuel 12:18 and 1 Kings 18:45. Although he doesn’t always cause our afflictions, he may allow the consequences of a rebellious world and wrong choices to draw us to remember his words. In his mercy he sends rain and sun on the just and the unjust (Matthew 12:45). If he judges it necessary to send natural disasters, it’s logical to assume that Godly people may get some of the fall-out. Jesus said in John 16:33 that we’re always going to have tribulations in this world. However, believers can have comfort knowing that he has the power to see us through them. In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted upheavals in nature that would be signs of his soon return. The tragedies we’re hearing about now all over the world could well be the beginning of sorrows referenced in Matthew 24:8. It’s fitting that our hearts empathize with those who are hurting. We should pray especially for those being persecuted by evil people. It’s good that we share their grief, because Jesus taught us to care. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus said when we help a brother or sister in need, we’re honoring him. Remember that Ephesians 2:10 says we were created to do just that. When calamities get our attention it’s always appropriate to consider if God may be speaking. Our answers will come in prayer and meditation on his Word.