Major rains often bring severe flooding. Last month witnessed extreme flooding in Peru. Last Friday it was Colombia. As Deutsche Welle reported on April 2, “A total of 17 Mocoa districts have been affected. Many houses simply no longer exist: The people in them didn’t stand a chance. The ground literally gave way beneath their feet, washed away by the sudden, unexpected flood. Other victims were crushed or drowned in the debris.” In another article on the same day, the paper also reported that hundreds of people were killed as the region received 30 percent of its annual rainfall in one night, with one governor noting that “hundreds of families have not yet been found and whole neighborhoods [are] missing.” Many have no water, no electricity and most of the roads leading to towns and villages are destroyed.
The sobering aftermath and suffering brought about by severe weather is gut-wrenching to behold. Yet the reach of the media makes it possible for many, blessed with safety and relative luxury, to witness destruction around the world from the peaceful environments of their own homes. How should we respond when we view others’ suffering? Christ gave the following promise during His earthly ministry, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). And the Bible foretells a coming wonderful time when the earth will be void of death, sorrow, crying and pain (Revelation 21:4). True Christians need to allow human suffering to motivate their prayers for Christ’s soon return and the peace He will usher in! For more answers to questions on this topic, read “Natural Disasters—Why?”