Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).
Recently a volcano in Iceland erupted through a sheet of ice and the resulting plumb of ash and smoke almost single handedly shut down air traffic in Europe and separated people from their friends and family as they waited for air travel to resume. An oil platform in the Caribbean catches on fire and the ensuing oil spill causes a natural disaster not seen since the grounding of the Valdez in Alaska. A coal mine in West Virginia experiences an explosion and 29 families lose loved ones. It is amazing that in this age of advance technology and machinery that a simple act of nature or an accident stops us in our tracks and causes so much disruption in our lives.
We still have death and loss of life facing us all day long, but there are also other personal hardships and persecution in everyday life that don’t make the headlines on CNN. If we think about it, we realize that even some everyday actions can have a decimating effect on our relationships. What are the volcanoes that are erupting in your life. Certainly a loss of a loved one or loss of a job can put a family into a tailspin, out of control and separate people one from another.
Our connections with each other are sometimes a fragile thread but our connection with our creator is a bond that is made in Heaven and cannot be destroyed by volcanoes, earthquakes, fires, or anything else on this earth. Sometimes, when disaster hits, we feel helpless or we look for something or someone to blame. Certainly some disasters can be avoided but in the end it is our ability to regroup and help each other start over that allows people to cope in the face of adversity. Blaming God or anyone else is unproductive at best and at worse does not allow love to reach out and begin healing not only people but nature as well.
Let us all reach out in love to one to one another to conquer adversity through Him who loved us.
Pastor Herb Vanderbilt
East Nelson United Methodist Church
9024 18 Mile, Cedar Springs