Archive for May 10th, 2022


Written by W.E. Sangster (1900-1960), a British preacher. This is an excerpt from his work “What if Calamity Comes?”

Calamity isn’t always the outcome of obvious sin. It overtakes the saints. Untimely death has nipped the life of the noblest souls, and not death merely, but death through agonizing pain … Nor is that the problem at its worst. Hardly a year passes but some great disaster stuns the public mind: the Tay Bridge disaster; the ramming of the Victoria, the loss of the Titanic; the wreck of the R101. No easy answer leaps to our lips. The man who finds in all such disasters the judgment of God on a wicked people is both unconvincing and inhuman. Choice souls perish in such an hour, and these calamities visit a thrifty and industrious people as well as a profligate and frivolous one. Disaster, like the rain, falls on the just and the unjust. The horror of it strikes one dumb, and when speech returns, a tempest of questions rises to the lips. Does God guide us? Is there knowledge in the Most High? Does he lead us to the lip of a calamity and leave us to fall in? The problem demands an attempt at an answer because any day might thrust it on our notice again and because it challenges faith. If anguish comes, can doubt be far behind? It is the opinion of the writer that the perfect will of God is constantly thwarted by human ignorance, stupidity, carelessness, and sin. No other view seems tenable as one looks at this chaotic world. It is a consequence of God’s great gift to men of freedom, and without that freedom, we should be marionettes and not men. We are born, moreover, into a society and a world where the perfect will of God has been thwarted for ages, and we are bound up in the bundle of life with our fellows. We gain immeasurably by these relationships. We can love one another, serve, help, and influence one another; necessarily we can also harm one another as well. We could not have the blessing without the risk of the bane. God took the risk. Everything sweet in this life has come to us from others. Our mothers suffered pain to give us birth. Our fathers worked for us. When we were ill, doctors and nurses bent their strength and skill to make us better, and our dear ones turned night into day as they watched at our side. Nor were we allowed to grow up untutored in mind or soul. We were educated. All that clever men and women had ever discovered, or thought, was put before us in ways we could take in, and the best the world has ever learned in things spiritual was made attractive too. We learned the name of Jesus. The imperishable stories of the Bible were told us, and all along the path of life precious things, the most precious, have come to us from other people. Friendship, counsel, encouragement, and love streaming in on us from others because God has set us here in a great family life and made us so that our lives intertwine. It should not surprise us, in the light of all we gain, that there is some risk of loss as well. When God made us so that we could love and help one another, he exposed his family to the possibility that they would hate and harm one another. Necessarily. The one goes with the other. And sin came in, with its long entail of sorrow and suffering, and we can be hurt at any time by the folly, carelessness, or crime of another. But would you rather live in a world in which that couldn’t happen? Do you wish God had so made us that we could never influence each other, never be friends, never guide, comfort, or help each other … never love? It would be a hateful and unendurable existence, loathsome to us all.


Written by Aaron Brown, a contemporary writer, teacher, and visual artist.

 Dear God, this season I have experienced and bore witness to the loss of relationships, jobs, and even faith. The news keeps telling me all that is going wrong, and sometimes I just can’t see anything that is going right. In times like these, I think of your servant Job and how for a season of life he lost. He lost a lot…family, friends, and possessions. Job was even stricken with sickness. In the end, though, you restored him. You renewed his strength. Please look upon your servant with mercy and favor. Lord, help me to keep my eyes focused on you. I ask that you either restore what has been lost or help me to find something new, something greater in the end. Please bless me in a way that I can be a blessing upon others during such a turbulent season for many people. If I can maintain my trust and my hope in you, and not give up, you will renew me, God. Please help me to persevere in the hope that better days are ahead. Amen.

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