More tornadoes ravage the mid-west, tonight’s forecast warns of even worse storms to come. Alabama and North Carolina victims are just beginning to sort through what’s left of their ravaged lives. Not far away another part of our country is being swallowed by the burgeoning Mississippi where the loss is just as great, just painstakingly slower. In every place heroic stories of survival encourage, while heart-wrenching stories of death and loss leave questions.
Why so brutal? Why so many storms and floods, drought and destruction all at once? Can’t the Lord protect these towns and people? What’s to come, will things get worse? I want to understand, but I don’t. Do you feel this way too?
Jesus said, “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Mancoming on a cloud with power and great glory.So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” Luke 21:25-28
We know that Jesus didn’t return on May 24th, but He will eventually come with power and great glory. I don’t know what that will look like, or how He’ll do it, but I find comfort in the hope of His return. Why?
Well, because today’s reality, all over the world, stands in stark relief against the promise of the not yet. Set the passage in Luke 21 right up next to Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 60 and take a peek into a beautiful future…
18 Violence will disappear from your land;
the desolation and destruction of war will end.
Salvation will surround you like city walls,
and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. 19 “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day,
nor the moon to give its light by night,
for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun will never set;
your moon will not go down.
For the Lord will be your everlasting light.
Your days of mourning will come to an end.
21 All your people will be righteous.
They will possess their land forever,
for I will plant them there with my own hands
in order to bring myself glory.
22 The smallest family will become a thousand people,
and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation.
At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” (Isaiah 60:18-22)