God’s Hand in the Storm

14 February 08 | Posted in Events

On February 5, 2008 tornadoes hit Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Students and professors at this Southern Baptist institution pondered God’s hand in the storm. What does it say about the nature of God that the campus was devasted by tornadoes; and that no lives were lost, despite $40 million in damage?

Greg Thornbury, dean of the school of Christian studies, wants to explore in class discussions God’s opague and sometimes baffling motives. As students returned to campus to identify their smashed and overturned cars, they wondered how anyone managed to survive, and they wrestled with the role God played.

“Basically, I know God kept everyone safe,” said one 18-year-old student, “I don’t know why God let it happen–but I really believe he was testing every student here.”

But Thornbury warned that guessing the mind of God is a tricky proposition. God’s motive for destroying the school, he said, “is probably in the realm of things that belong to the Lord…But what we can say is, look at the solidarity here. Why do we have people from the whole country rallying around this cause? I think that says something about what God has revealed to us.”tornado.jpg

Thornbury said that the true lesson–that people should respond to suffering with love and compassion–was already manifesting itself on campus.

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