Live Not Another Moment

tornadoLike many of you, I was immediately horrified and saddened when I heard yesterday about the deadly tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. However, unlike past tornadoes, this one left me especially unnerved because my mom and step-dad live in Moore. My mom teaches at a Moore elementary school (not one of the two that was hit) and my step-dad works for the City of Moore. Both are OK, and their house was spared. But we continue to weep for the families who lost property and the lives of loved ones; we especially ache with those parents who dropped their children off at school Monday morning, yet saw them alive no more. In the aftermath of this tragedy, I'd like to offer these thoughts. In Romans 8, the apostle Paul speaks of how creation has been subjected to futility, that it is enslaved to corruption until Jesus returns. Natural disasters remind us of how far we have fallen from the "Very Good" of Genesis 1 when God made his creation perfect. It is all too easy to blame God when these disasters strike, but we must remember that they happen because of the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve. They will continue to happen as long as the earth continues to rotate. Therefore, these natural disasters should spur every child of God to plead with Him for the return of the King. The whisper under our breath, "Lord, Come Quickly," needs to become a mighty roar that shakes the throne room. When Jesus returns, sorrow, pain, suffering, and natural disasters will be no more. If we continue NOT to beseech the Lord for Jesus's quick return, it may reveal just how unhealthily we are attached to this world.

It was only a month ago that tragedies in Boston and West, TX saddened us. The church rose up in a mighty way to help those affected, and the recovery in those areas is still ongoing. In more recent days, tornadoes in North Texas and now in Oklahoma have caused damage and taken lives. People often ask in times like these, "Where is God?" In his book on this subject, Phillip Yancey responds: "Look to the church." It's no secret that ours is a culture that has shoved church to the margins and labeled it as profoundly irrelevant. Few of us are "winning" Truth Arguments with the world. But when tragedy strikes, God gives the church a tremendous opportunity to make known his love and power. Suddenly, we have the chance to make known the church's relevance. Simply put, we now have countless opportunities to do a lot of good in Jesus' name. The church is never at her finest than when she appears as that city on a hill.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." -- Matt. 5:16

Finally, many of you have heard this most recent tornado compared to the one that struck Moore, OK on May 3, 1999. That one was remembered as a deadly F-5 storm that was thought to be unprecedented. However, a key difference exists between that storm in 1999 and the one that struck yesterday. The storm in May 1999 was tracked for more than an hour--nearly two as I told. People had adequate time to seek shelter. Yesterday, the storm arose so quickly that many had less than 15 minutes to get to safety. In our 21st century world with all of our technological and medical advances, we often think that life is safe and secure. But life remains a very precious, so very fragile thing. Parents dropped their kids off at school yesterday morning thinking it was just another Monday morning. Husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers kissed their families and commuted to work as normal. But some of them never returned home last night. Others had no home to return to. Their houses were destroyed and they were left with few, if any, remaining possessions. We are therefore reminded of what truly matters in life. Not the accumulation of the material, but the treasure of relationships with friends and family members. And we are sobered by the reality that death could call our name at any time. The Bible thus calls us to be ready to meet the Lord at any moment.

Live not another second without saying "I love you" to your friends and family. Live not another moment clinging to your possessions or pretending this world holds much for you.

Live not another moment without Jesus as your Savior.

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