October 23, 2015 • From
The strongest hurricane in history is nearing landfall.
Hurricane Patricia is shortly expected to make landfall on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. This massive storm is boasting maximum sustained winds of 200 miles per hour, and gusts even more powerful than that.
Meteorologists predict it will be more powerful than Hurricane Andrew in 1992, or Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The United States National Hurricane Center in Miami is warning of a “potentially catastrophic landfall” of what it believes will remain a Category 5 hurricane. It could cause massive death and destruction to a huge area in southwestern Mexico on the Pacific coast.
It is expected to dump 8 to 12 inches of rain—up to 20 inches in some places. That could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
“Patricia’s intensity is comparable to Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013, the World Meteorological Organization tweeted,” cnn reported. “More than 6,000 people died in Haiyan, due largely to enormous storm surges that rushed through coastal areas. Haiyan had 195-mph sustained winds when it made landfall .…”
cnn meteorologist Chad Myers said, “This is the only hurricane that’s ever been this powerful.”
These once-in-a-generation events—or once-in-a-century, or even once-in-a-millennium events, as the flooding in South Carolina was described earlier this month—are happening with alarming frequency.
Our climate-controlled modern world keeps most of us sheltered from the effects of normal fluctuations in the weather far more than ever in the past. But then these massive events occur and remind us of the immense power of the natural world.
Climatic and weather disasters can exhibit awful catastrophic power that makes us feel so small. It reminds us of how helpless we can be in the face of these events.
Modern civilization has developed amazing technology to predict many of these events (although in this case, the storm whipped up extremely quickly, with little advance notice). However, when the disaster strikes, there is virtually nothing we can do to stop it.
In Mexico, people have braced for the storm by stacking sandbags and boarding up windows—but in the end, the best they can do is flee. No matter what they do, that storm is going to hit, and hit hard.
Why do events like this happen?
We live in a materialistic world, a world in which people seek materialistic explanations. In this case, people are attributing the storm to El Niño raising the water temperature a few degrees and tipping the event over the edge into something far more devastating than it would have been otherwise.
In truth, science cannot know for certain. Weather is extremely complicated, with an untold number of factors involved. There is a reason why the weathermen are so often wrong in their forecasts. To understand causes to the extent that they could actually do something about them, particularly to prevent such disasters, is several steps beyond their capacity.
The fact remains, though, that a purely materialistic view of such events fails to provide satisfying explanations. Climatic catastrophes tend to defy only materialistic reasons.\
If you have not studied into what the Bible says on the subject, you should. Scripture has much to say about weather and about climatic disasters. There is a lot about the disasters we see in the world around us, explaining why they happen—and even revealing our part in their happening.
If you accept the biblical explanation, then you must acknowledge that there are man-made causes for these tragedies.
The Bible plainly reveals how God is in control of these powerfully destructive forces. He doesn’t necessarily cause catastrophes like hurricanes. There are biblical examples where He did, but there are also biblical examples where He didn’t.
However,even in those cases where God doesn’t cause it, He does allow it.
And thatraises some difficult questions—questions that a lot of people don’t really want to face.
Why would God allow a destructive hurricane to devastate the lives of thousands of people? What kind of God would let such things happen?
These are important questions that people don’t ask enough. Most people put them out of their minds—or if they do consider them, they do so only for a moment and then quickly move on.
But it is important for us to ask why would God allow this! We need to pay attention when terrifying disasters wreak such havoc on so many. Such events should rouse us from our bubble of self-concern and cause us to sit up and take notice. They should raise questions that challenge our assumptions about the world—and about God.




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