Author: Loyd Jenkins
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I John 4:7-8
This year in West Michigan we have had a light winter and what seems like an early spring. Usually February is a hard, winter month full of snow and freezing temperatures. However, we have experienced warmer weather and light snowfalls. And while we’ve been experiencing the easy pleasure of a gentle winter, it cannot go unnoticed that so much of the rest of the nation has succumbed to severe weather conditions and devastating disasters.
From the recent winter storms in the west that dumped nearly 2 feet of snow in Nevada which claimed 4 lives, to the recent flooding in California, to the catastrophic tornados in Mississippi that decimated homes that also claimed 4 lives—it appears that the U.S. has had its share of disasters recently in many forms.
So this past Sunday, while at church, someone flippantly asked me, “Why does God allow suffering?” and used natural disasters as the example of the suffering that they were referring. This question led me down the deep theological trail of attempting to understand God, and why the Creator might allow this or that to happen.
It occurred to me that all through Jesus’ life, from beginning to end, was God showing the world how much He loves us—so much that He gave His only Son (John 3:16). And we’re to be followers of Jesus and emulate that same love for each other. I considered that when suffering happens, it’s an opportunity for us to show God’s love by providing for each other.
So when we are packing hygiene kits for poor families out west, or for people who have lost everything in a natural disaster, we’re not just packing kits. Or when we’re putting together medical equipment for a partner-clinic in another part of the world, they’re not just shipments. These are not just products. We’re not just working to make an impact. We are truly demonstrating God’s love by providing what is needed to people that need it.