By Waylon Bailey
Over the weekend, folks in Louisiana dealt with Hurricane Barry while folks in California are still jittery over the two recent earthquakes. Both of these strike fear and concern.
The folks in Louisiana say, “At least you know when a hurricane is coming.” The folks in California are very aware their state has a major earthquake every 150 years or so. It’s now been over 160 years since the last one.
How do we deal with natural disasters which are bad and many of the personal aspects of life which are even more hurtful?
First, we have to recognize that life is hard. We constantly deal with pain and suffering. We ask if God really is working all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and we question how we can count it all joy when we face various trials (James 1:2-4).
Second, we have to recognize that we live in a broken world. Our sin has affected not just our lives but the whole creation. Paul stated it so powerfully, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility . . . because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now” (Romans 8:19-22).
Third, we have to recognize that God is for us and not against us, that He loves us dearly and truly has a plan for our redemption and our eternal blessings. He gave His Son to make this so.
Finally, we have to recognize that the sufferings of this present time (and our short lives) “are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
Life is hard, but you and I have a loving Heavenly Father who cares for us and gave His only Son to redeem us.
To Him be all honor and glory, even in the hard times of life.
Waylon Bailey is senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Covington and president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board. This editorial first appeared on Bailey’s blog.