Some time last month, I was in the beautiful and warm Puerto Rico. I could feel the tropical breeze on my exposed shoulders, while I lay on the beach, ordering a plate of mofongo and a side of mango slurpee, and then just as I was about to put a jumbo grilled shrimp kabob in my mouth, I woke up!
“Phew! It was only a dream!” I picked up my phone to check the time… had to be at the airport by 9am for a much needed vacation to Puerto Rico for reals this time. Pop comes in the news. There has just been a 6.4 earthquake in Puerto Rico with two collapsed houses and a power outage throughout the island.
Zhang is my coworker’s cousin who lives in Wuhan, China. He’d told my coworker that he was scared to go to work. Everyone was contracting this supposed disease, he said, “and they’re all dying”. “Hmmm na so” I whispered under my breath. “What exactly does Zhang want this time?” I asked, knowing his reputation for asking for awoof – an Xbox, airpods, and the latest Nikes. “Sebi we would have at least heard of this human-killing disease in the news if it were true,” I said. My phone vibrates as I walk back to my desk, and pop comes in the news – Coronavirus disease outbreak is responsible for hundreds of deaths and is spreading wide and fast.
Kimani was playing outside his home in Kenya one evening, when a little locust perched by his feet. He runs inside the house, yelling “Mama! Mama! I caught a cricket to roast! Oh now they’re four! No, ten! Lot’s of crickets I’ve got, mama!” Mama looked surprised and followed Kimani’s lead to where he was playing. As she walks there, she sees a massive cloud of insects far away, and screams, “Andrew! Honey! There are locusts heading our way! Our farm! The crops! Everything will be ruined! As mama screams, her husband, Andrew is frozen, with his eyes glued to the TV and his mouth open wide in shock, watching the news that just popped up – swarms of locusts in East Africa will put millions at risk of starvation.
Newly weds, Oliver and Charlotte are sitting at home in Sydney, Australia, watching CNN on a regular evening after work. “This is crazy… the whole flooding thing going on in East Africa.” Oliver says.
“I know! Look at that house right there on the corner, it’s pretty much entirely submerged in the flood” Charlotte responds, shaking her head in pity.
“It sucks! And that fireman responding to the landslide… that’s a very dangerous rescue he’s trying to pull off. I pray he makes it home safely.” Oliver adds.
Charlotte releases a troubled sigh.
“Honey, is there something burning in the kitchen?! The pizza in the oven, maybe?” Oliver asks. Then pop changed the news on CNN. There’s a massive bushfire moving towards Sydney from outside the city, and everyone is asked to evacuate their homes.
In the midst of the craziness of this thing called life, let’s pause to think of the broader picture. Clearly, a lot of this wahala is linked to the ripple effect of climate change. Like the excess rainfall in East Africa, causing excess drought in Australia, while at the same time providing excess moisture for locusts to breed, which then leads to destruction of food, and ultimately famine in several regions.
But then, if we take an even wider view, could these events be entirely natural, or could they be pointing back to predictions in the Bible? The earthquakes and tsunamis, widespread of deadly diseases, famine, flooding, drought, and fires. Could God be saying something through these series of events?
Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences…”
Revelation 9:3 “Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth.”
I barely scratched the surface, but there’s so much depth to the stories I shared. They have occurred several times in multiple places, and are still occurring. There are even more incidents that the Bible indicates will occur in the “end times”, that seem to be happening today.
Think about the senseless killings from gun violence in the US, or acts of terrorism around the world. What about how some leaders claim to be “Christian”, yet lead anti-christian lives? Like you know, some funny guy who re-introduced prayer into schools, yet diverts funds for feeding the poor to other causes, treats people from other countries in a demeaning way, and says things that no distinguished leader should ever say.
Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing…“
I just want to bring us out of our busy lives to consider the bigger picture, and have us seek a deeper meaning. While I hope these are reversible situations related to climate change, I still would like to consider the possibility of something greater at play. If these events truly mirror what is described in the Bible, are we living in a way that will position us for the glory that awaits?
Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.”
P.S. I’m still going to plan a vacation to the Islands after this Corona madness is gone. Maybe Jamaica this time. Puerto Rico has scarred me with them ‘quakes.
Thoughts on the topic? Am I thinking too deep about these incidences or do you also think there could be something more to them?