"Age will not be defied." - Francis Bacon
Natural disasters are happening more often, and are having an even more dramatic impact on the world in terms of both their human and economic costs. According to the United Nation’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, some 75 percent of the world’s population live in areas that have been affected at least once by either an earthquake, a tropical cyclone, flooding, or drought between 1980 and 2000. In recent times “tsunami” became a word that many of us added to our vocabulary. Andrew, Charlie, and Katrina are names now associated with death and disaster.
The followers of Christ wondered how long the world was going to last. Jesus’ disciples came to Him with a question, “What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” He mentioned several things but three that relate to natural disasters, “There will be earthquakes, famines, and pestilences [contagious diseases of pandemic proportions] in various places.”
One explanation for the increase of calamity in the 21st century has to do with the aging process this planet is going through. Unfortunately, age sneaks up on us unexpectedly, and there is no escaping the fact that we are all growing one year older every 365 days (Laura Cummins). Aging is an on-going process that begins at birth and continues for as long as we live. It involves both the positive component of development and the negative component of decline (merck.com). Paul declared, “The creation will be delivered from the bondage of decay … for we know that the whole creation groans and labors….” Old age is the verdict of life (Amelia Barr). The earth is dying; we are dying daily. We are fading away – moment by moment. But there is hope!
Robert Browning said, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.” There is life after death. Death is the beginning of eternity for all. Those who have faith in God will live forever with Him. Jesus said, “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me … I am going to prepare a place for you … when everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me.” There is also hope for the earth. In Revelation 21:1 the Bible says, “And I, John saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”