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When Disaster Strikes

by Martin Wiles  
3/29/2011 / Devotionals

Matthew 14:10 Herod had John beheaded in the prison. (NIV)
Walking by my aunt's house always unnerved me. She was only fourteen when she and my uncle married. He tried his best to move her away from my grandparents but she kept coming home. In an attempt to remedy the situation-to keep her married and to keep her out of his house, Pappy built them a house next door. Like many homes of this period, it rested on a foundation several feet off the ground and wasn't underpenned. My aunt loved dogs and they loved to lie in the soft cool dirt beneath the house. As I walked by, they would suddenly and unexpectedly emerge with loud barks and bared teeth. It was enough to scare a young boy half to death.
Jesus may have been God but he voluntarily limited his divine powers while on earth. No doubt one of them was his ability to know all things as he had before. The report of his cousin and forerunner's untimely death was certainly unwelcome and shocking news.
Tragedy has the tendency to do that. The earthquake and resulting tsunami that pummeled Japan in 2011 was a prime example. As were the strikes against Libya's leader Mohamar Gadafi when he refused to stop killing his own people. Tragedy seldom, if ever, announces its intention to disrupt our life, family, state or country. It emerges like a ravaging dog with bared teeth.
Life's tragedies are handled better when we remember God is still in control. Nothing happens without his permission or apart from his decree. We may never fully understand the why but believing God is all wise, good and in control helps us process events without losing faith. We can also remember his promise to work all things together for the good of his children and in a way that brings glory to him.
I didn't like the dogs but they kept me on my toes. The prevalent possibility of tragedies does the same. We can't prevent them but we can trust the One who knows and controls all things.
Prayer: Father, when I can't see the future, help me trust the future holder.

Martin W. Wiles is a native South Carolinian and ordained minister currently serving as Pastor of First Baptist Church, Harleyville, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are the founders of MorningLiteMinistry-a devotional ministry designed to encourage those on a spiritual journey with Christ. (
Dr. Wiles holds degrees from Baptist College of Florida in Graceville and Southern Baptist School in Jacksonville, Florida.
Wiles has authored Morning By Morning and Morning Serenity (PublishAmerica) and has served as a regional correspondent for the Baptist Courier. He has also been published in Proclaim, The Sounds of Poetry, as well as other anthologies of poetry and by Christian Devotions, PCCWebDaily, The WOW Blog and contributes to various newspapers. He and his wife Michelle currently reside in Harleyville, SC.

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