As I sit here waiting to see how much more destruction Hurricane Irma is going to inflict upon humanity, I can't help but wonder what my role in just these past two week's storms (or lack there of in the PNW of the U.S. which has been impacted by major forest fires) has been.
The earth is groaning, there's no denying it. The earth is violent, turbulent; the earth is crying out. While there are likely lots of factors that we can't fully know about why the abundance of natural disasters is currently tormenting us, there are several things I am sure of.
I am convinced that my own selfish behavior is part of the problem. And to everyone who is being impacted right now (and will be for generations to come), I'm truly sorry. My heart is so heavy with grief right now. It would be easier for me to point fingers at everyone else and say "look at all the energy they are using, all the resources they are wasting, all the pollution they are creating, all the things they are doing to cause global warming," and then continue to personally do absolutely nothing about it. And isn't it just like the enemy to deceive us into believing that we aren't part of the problem so that we continue to be used by him in our own destruction and demise, not too mention other people's. As a Christian, I am convinced that we were placed on this earth to steward it and to steward well. I also believe that God calls us to ensure that all people get to experience the fullness of life this side of heaven.
I'm convinced that my response can't just be one-dimensional. If you have been impacted by the recent natural disasters, or are about to be, please know that I am praying for God to intervene, to cause the storms to stop dead in their tracks, to avoid you completely and for you to experience God's peace that surpasses all understanding. I'm also humbly acknowledging and confessing that I am part of the problem and asking for forgiveness and for God's mercy and grace. I do believe God can and does do miracles to save us from our own stupidity and selfishness and the ways in which we play a part in our demise. Not to mention prevent the schemes of the enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy using all means necessary.
I am not naive to the reality that there are things in my own life that I can, and must change, in order to bring the kind of life that I long for people around the globe to experience. So, please know that I am also praying for myself and for our family to know what we can personally do to be part of the solution and how we can discontinue our involvement in the destruction of the one place God created to be our home, humanity's home, for generation upon generation. I genuinely do want to love you, my neighbors, as I love myself, and I realize that I am not doing that well right now. I also know that no matter how hard I try to do that in my own strength that I will continue to fall short, and so I pray that God will enable me to do so by the power of the Holy Spirit active and alive within me.
It would be easier to believe the lie that one person, one family, living in Minnesota cannot actually in effect change the reality of the earth today. And in fact, that is the lie that too many of us have bought into. But today we stop believing that lie and recommit ourselves to daily rely on God to help us love our world better, to love our neighbors better, that we might all experience the fullness of life this side of heaven as God has always intended.