Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 28, 2011

From Easter to Tornado Tragedies

Dr. John Snow and his church

Because hundreds of people died in the recent tornadoes, thousands mourn for their family and friends.  Hundreds of thousands of folks are only one degree of separation – the friend of a friend, or kin of a cousin – and grieve too.  Millions share empathy and compassion with those hurting.  It’s a terrible time for a lot of Americans.

So many people had a blessed Easter and now they are dead.  Good Christians.  How do we explain this?

Well, the wisdom of the Bible tells us many things.  Almost all tornadoes come from God’s permissive will in the Laws of Nature.  Not His explicit will.  The tornadoes weren’t sent to smite any person.  The good and the bad may die alike.  Or, lose everything they own.

Yet, doesn’t it seem like God has forsaken those who lost their lives?  No.  See Psalm 22 below.  At the most desperate moment in Jesus’ life, he called out to his Father.  He cried out to “Daddy” (Abba) to ask why He had been forsaken.  Actually, Jesus spoke the first words of Psalm 22.

Look where Psalm 22 comes from.  David was inspired to write it hundreds of years before Jesus was born of a virgin.  Consider the accuracy of the prophecy.

Look where Psalm 22 goes.  It goes from desperation to triumph.  Triumph in the Lord.

The children and Christians who died are with the Lord.  As much as we despair for what they lost on earth, we cannot imagine what they have gained.

And every person who grieves in this flesh for the death of hope, dreams and sweet love for their beloved isn’t alone.  Every thought, word or deed of the bereaved is shared with the all-knowing Holy Ghost, the Father and son, Jesus.  The pain of every tear is felt by an all-loving God.

See the power of the all-powerful God in this Psalm 22.  Jesus saw it, felt it, knew it when He was on the cross.

Psalm 22

1] My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
[2] O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
[3] But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
[4] Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
[5] They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
[6] But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
[7] All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying,
[8] He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
[9] But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.
[10] I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
[11] Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
[12] Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
[13] They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
[14] I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
[15] My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
[16] For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
[17] I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
[18] They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
[19] But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
[20] Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
[21] Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
[22] I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
[23] Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
[24] For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
[25] My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
[26] The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
[27] All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
[28] For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and he is the governor among the nations.
[29] All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
[30] A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
[31] They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Week before last’s deadly tornadoes tore through the church of my former preacher, John Snow, in Deltaville, Virginia.  The church was split in half.  Dr. John Snow and family survived right next door in the parsonage.  Praise the Lord that they were spared.

And for all who were lost.  Love them.  Love those who love them.  Do for them.  Show mercy in acts of lovingkindness.

God is good.  All the time.  No matter what.  No-matter-what.



  1. Thank you for that, Jim. It spoke very deeply to me. How profound Jesus’ words/Psalm 22.

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