“One of the strongest typhoon ever recorded in history.” The news goes. Thanks to media and social networks we knew ahead of what to expect come November 7, 2013. It can scare anybody, yes. But with the forecasts, everybody are expected to expect the worst and be ready. But it was not enough.
As of November 26, the official death toll of the recent super typhoon Haiyan or known locally in the Philippines as Yolanda is 5,240 as reported by Cris Larano on The Wall Street Journal. In the same report, 1,613 people are missing and 3.39 million people are displaced. With that statistics and first-hand witness of the devastation, a public official said “God must have been somewhere else or he forgot that there is a planet called Earth.”
Does God really forget? Does He become too busy to overlook a detail? Does He fall so soundly asleep and not hear the cries of His drowning people?
I might ask the same things. I cannot say for sure that I will not be shaken. I haven’t been to that worst yet except for some personal storms.
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. (Psalm 115:3). Does it please my God to see me hurting? I cannot pretend I know what He is thinking. My human mind cannot dive the depth of His thoughts, I cannot soar to the heights of His sovereignty. He is sovereign and I can only trust that He has reasons and His reasons are always for my good.
The Bible tells us several accounts of Jesus calming the storms. In Matthew 8:23-27 (NIV), the disciples were on a boat when a storm came and Jesus was sleeping…
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
We can also see the same story in Mark 4:35-40 and Luke 8:22-25. God’s message couldn’t have been more clearer, He can command the winds and waves to calm down. He may choose not to calm the storm but He will for sure calm the fear in our heart and replace it with trust so that we can experience His presence in the midst of a raging typhoon. He will go through it with us.
But sometimes our prayers seem to fall into deaf ears. We try to wake Him up and we try to go through it with Him but the winds continue to blow; the waves continue to rise; the storm continues to roar. Where are you Lord?
Where was God when a super typhoon made landfall and snatched children from their parents arms? When towns were washed away? When people were fighting for their lives?
I like how our pastor answered it “He is where He was when Jesus, His son, was crucified.”