Earthquakes, Cyclones, and Wars

Yesterday I read of an aftershock hitting a poor, mountainous region of Sichuan province in central China that toppled thousands of buildings and injured hundreds of people. This follows on the heels of the worst earthquake in three decades with a death toll of over 62,000 people. While everything associated with the situation is tragic, the tiny orphans are the most heartbreaking. Then there’s the Myanmar cyclone and the ongoing loss of life there; at least now it seems that a turning point has been reached that will allow foreign aid workers entry into the area. We’ll see. Closer to home, today’s The State reports that a guardsman from SC was killed in Afghanistan when his unit was attacked.


All that is sad, bad stuff and it makes me think of a conversation I had with some of my lunch buddies last week. We were discussing religion, God, His purposes, the Old Testament vs. the New Testament, whether Job really lived, and so forth. Towards the end of our hour, someone wondered how God could allow such tragedies as those in China and Myanmar to occur…not to mention the thousands on a smaller scale. No one had any answers that day, and I don’t have any today either.


However, yesterday I came across a quote by Howard W. Hunter that I had jotted down on one of my little writing pads. “God knows what we do not know and sees what we cannot see.” It’s about the same as the verse from Isaiah that assures us that “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9


No, that really doesn’t satisfy all of our questioning and seeking, but it does remind us that perhaps our minds are too small to comprehend the events of the world in the same way that God does. After all, He’s God, and I’m Jayne, a mortal who breathes, walks, talks, and enjoys chocolate because it’s His will that I do so.  


I have to remind myself that I “see through a glass darkly.” At the same time, not believing in God because surely He could have stopped such catastrophes and loss of life doesn’t change the situation. In fact, what else is there to believe in? Does not believing in an omnipotent being aid in understanding or grant peace? To me, the answer is no. In fact, not believing is a little scary, and for now I’m content to follow Heber J. Grant’s advice to let the mysteries of heaven wait until I get to heaven.