The Irony of Catastrophe

The sketch of the crescent moon at dawn on the 28th day of April shows a peaceful scene. It was the first day of the star gaze, where about 150 people were gathered to watch the evening skies with telescopes for 3 consecutive nights in French Camp, Mississippi. I woke early in the morning to catch the crescent moon, which was above some low broken clouds being lighted by the early sun. The hill was full of dew. Not one breath of air was stirring. No one was awake except me. The scene was deceptively calm.


A few miles away the night before a tornado struck a small town. Most of it was destroyed. Less than 48 hours later the most violent rash of tornadoes on record swept over Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Over 300 people did not live to tell about it. The star gaze continued through this period.

Catastrophe is like that. Whether it is huricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes, one family’s experience maybe horrendous but another just a short distance away may be totally different. The seeming irony hits you in the face: none of us is promised life on our terms. We can dismiss such things or form a rationale that makes it far from us, until it happens to us. Jesus Christ said in the world there will be trouble, but for those who put their trust in him, He has overcome the world. It does not mean the believer is spared from catastrophe, but it does most certainly mean that this world is not all there is, and we have finite time and opportunity to deal with God or refuse him.

So, the scene was beautiful that morning, which I tried to capture in the quick sketch, but the reality of the importance of finding God through trouble became the more pressing matter on my heart. I know Jesus Christ and His love. It humbles me. But it also makes me aware of the need many readers might have to know Him as I do. If a reader does not know Him with certainty, know this: you can. Then, whether catastrophe or calm, peace or war occur, your soul can remain safe in Him.

John 3:16

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