Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Victoria bushfires

I suppose I'm pretty lucky to be living in Sydney, away from the devastating bushfires in Sydney. It's been raining here for the last three days, for crying out loud.

But you can't live in Australia and not be somewhat impacted by the bushfires.

I don't have family or friends immediately affected, but you really cannot escape watching, reading or even hearing about it from somewhere or someone.

It's bad. It's really bad.

Almost 200 people dead so far, and more than 700 homes destroyed. Whole towns/suburbs wiped out.

What really baffles me is the realisation that some of these fires were actually deliberately lit.

Yes, arson. An entire town population decimated because some idiot decided it may be fun to light a fire. I mean, honestly? What were they thinking?

It feels to me that committing arson like this is far worse than being a serial killer.

I cannot understand it. I simply can't.

And I suppose all those affected by the bushfires cannot even understand why them. Why such a terrible thing could happen to them.

Is this a time to start blaming God?

As a Christian, the natural answer is "no", but it's normal for people to start wondering, "Why God? Where were you?".

I don't have the answers, but things like these are true indications to me that there has got to be something better, something more than this life.

I have had my own personal tragedies, deaths of loved ones that I've had to handle, so I'm not trying to be flippant about the issue.

All I'm trying to say is that the Bible teaches me that this is not a perfect world, and it isn't so not because God allowed it so, but because we made it so.

And despite it all, there is still a saving grace. It's not only about the fact that Jesus died to save us from all our sins - having a faith in God does make things better.

During times of despair, it's the knowledge that God is still looking after me, the knowledge that there is something better in store for me, knowing that my purpose in life is not about me but about serving others, these are the things that help.

It's not about asking "why me?", it's about continuing to stay focused on God.

Perhaps it doesn't really help when you're in the midst of tragedy, but that's when others come in. Others who are similarly touched by the beauty of God (Christian or not), who will be there to help, support and rebuild.

I can only imagine how terrible it is to lose everything you own, have, love. And even in my imagination, I can feel how horrible that would be. But when you have lost everything, at the end of the day, the only thing you can do is trust.

Grieve, but also trust.

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