45:7 “I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.”
Isaiah 45:7 (ESV)
God is pretty blunt in taking credit for disruption — “I make well-being and create calamity.” How could a God of love make such a claim? Humans recoil at the thought of a God who doesn’t keep life safe and secure.
If God did not create the calamity we experience, then we have a powerless God who is not in control. A God who is not in control is far more scary.
This ageless dilemma will never be fully understood on this side of heaven. The calamity that He claims has a purpose in our lives. All that He does is both just and merciful, both patient and powerful, both loving and truthful. God is fully wise and holy in all of His actions.
When drought cripples a Midwestern state, it shrivels the crops of both the godless and the God-fearing farmers. Tornadoes do not skip over houses where Christians live. COVID-19 strikes both the atheist and the Jesus-follower. That does not mean that Christ-followers just happen to be collateral damage that God couldn’t avoid.
God has a purpose in everything that unfolds in our lives. Sometimes God’s actions are meant for our personal growth, sometimes His actions affect us for the sake of another.
Pastor and teacher Ron Dunn cautions us. “We have a fatal defect: a confidence in our own ability to accurately evaluate everything that happens to us. We label whatever comes into our lives as either a blessing or a curse. We say, ‘This is good … this is not good.’ We fail to see the blessings that arrive dressed in the rags of a curse.”
At the end of the day, the Bible confirms that God’s actions are always good, right and purposeful. If any attribute of God’s character is less than perfect, He ceases to be God. Eternity will reveal God’s perfection in all that He does.
In the meantime, we can turn to a trustworthy God who will use calamity to deepen our relationship with Him.