I’m a long ways away from home right now, but I am truly hurt by the devastation from the tornados in Oklahoma this week. I wish I could be there to help and comfort and put life back together. I wish I’d done more when this happened in ’99. I hurt that my friends and family hurt.
As I was praying for the people of Oklahoma last night, I wished God had never allowed this to happen. I wished that the world was a better place where people didn’t have to go through things like this. But then I remembered that this world is not my home. I realized that this life will always be filled with suffering and sadness, but that there is something better waiting for me. I took comfort in two things: knowing that God is still good and in control, and that I have a true home, a better home, a pain free home in heaven awaiting me.
I don’t want to try to explain God’s reasoning for this. I know He has them, and I know they are good. What helps me most in times like these is knowing that it won’t always be this way. Bad things happen, but God works them for good to those who love him. (Rom. 8:28) In Revelation, things get worse and worse at the end, but the end of this world is not the end of the story.
I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:1-5)
There is hope in dark times. There is eternal life that we are looking forward to. That’s the greatest news ever – believers have eternity in the presence of the Creator waiting for them after death, no matter how tragic their death may be. That’s why I’m so excited to see people reaching out in Oklahoma to rescue and take care of those in need – many of them are doing it in the name of Jesus. We have been rescued from our sin, and now we will do whatever we can to serve our Savior and rescue those who are just like we were.