I just watched a scary YouTube video of Ellen DeGeneres standing near a turbulent creek near her home in California. It had not yet peaked, but would soon, and she said she has to evacuate. I certainly hope she stays safe – having been through numerous floods from a river nearby, I know it is not a situation to play with.
But she said something that stuck with me, “We need to be kind to Mother Nature. Mother Nature is not happy with us.” I do not know where the phrase “Mother Nature” comes from but I would like to ask the question, “Can Mother Nature actually be angry?”
I know that the term “Mother Nature” is simply a personification of the natural world. Using the term “mother” indicates the nurturing aspect of the natural order. Nature is where we get our food and all the resources we need to build shelters and protect ourselves when the elements get too hard to manage. But “nature” is also a source of peril. Anyone who has been close to a storm surge at a beach, experienced an earthquake, or have had their home threatened by raging water as Miss DeGeneres has, knows those destructive forces are real and terrifying.
But are these forces of Mother Nature unleashed by an actual act of will? Were they devised by Mother Nature’s mind? Are they really the result of her wrath? After all, a person is a being who possesses these things – a mind that can think and create, that is aware of an offense, emotions that react, and a will that can decide and execute a a course of action .
Of course not, Mother Nature is simply another term for the way nature works. It is determined by natural laws that have operated since the dawn of time.
But those laws, which operate so relentlessly and predictably, indicate a mind who designed them. They reveal a personality that sends rain “on the just and the unjust.” A Person whose hands formed the dry land. One who sits upon the flood and whose “voice” shakes the wilderness.
That Person is God.
Is He angry with us?
The Bible says He is angry with all of us because we have chosen to disobey His moral law. Most of the time, as we experience the nurturing of nature, it is easy to forget that truth. There are times, however, God allows us to see just a glimpse of the power of His wrath by His natural law working through His creation to remind us that we all “are but men (or women).”
This isn’t bullying, and it isn’t cruelty – it really is the flip-side of mercy. You see, there is coming a time we will stand before this God all by ourselves – one at a time – to give an answer for how we lived the life He has blessed us with. These times of “nature’s wrath” are one of His many ways to remind us to be ready for that time.
The good news is that He has already poured out His wrath – the full fury of His moral nature at all the sins of humanity. That anger makes even the fiercest natural disaster look only like a faint shadow – and it has already been poured out.
He did this on the cross and His only son, Jesus, bore the brunt of that fury for us so we don’t have to bear it forever. The choice is ours, repent and receive the forgiveness already purchased on the cross – or perish.
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