I guess I’m in the ignorant minority, but I believe that there are things that God allows to happen that we perceive as evil … maybe to remind us that Death is always waiting in the wings, and Christ is always dying to intercept Death and claim His own.
Maybe there are some things that God permits to remind us that sinleadstodeath sinleadstodeath SINLEADSTODEATH.
Maybe things like earthquakes and tsunamis (earthquakes, at least, are going to happen until the end – Jesus says – but aren’t particularly a sign of it) just happen. Maybe God wound up the clockwork globe and, instead of walking away disinterestedly, waits on the edge of His throne to see what we do with it.
Maybe how we react to disaster is what’s important: with compassion and generosity to the surviving victims, or by trying to blame God or Satan or offshore drilling for them.
Is it even possible that the earthquake/tsunamis that wiped out tens of thousands might have been acts of God’s mercy? That had He not rescued some by water (as He did for Noah) or shortened the days of the tribulation (as is also promised in another context), the disaster might have been many, many times worse?
The only clear message I get from scripture is that, like Job, we can ask all the questions we want to about such things. But that doesn’t mean we can understand the answers.
Claiming to have them seems dangerously arrogant.
One thing is certain: the disaster has already stirred the murky waters of mankind’s innate need to know how good and evil fit into our world.
If we as Christians can’t claim to have all the answers, the least we can do is offer to share in the struggle … ask questions of our own … assist in rescuing the physically and spiritually perishing … pray without ceasing … weep with those who weep; mourn with those who mourn.
And, yes, rejoice with those who survive.
We of all people should know what it is like to be rescued from utter disaster.