Thursday, April 28, 2011

Praise Him, Praise Him

As I have continued to watch the news reports about one harrowing experience after another in relation to yesterday's tornadoes and storms, I realize it is hard for me to fathom what these individuals have been through. I certainly can understand it on an intellectual level, but it is impossible to imagine what it must have felt like to have the building I was occupying disintegrate around me.

In more than a few of these reports -- both written and video -- the survivors have praised God for sparing their lives. In one video on the Weather Channel, 3 women tell of cowering in a tanning bed as a tornado ripped apart the tanning studio. The mother said that they were praising God and he protected them from the storm's wrath and fury.

If a person believes in a deity and they survive a frightening experience such as this, I certainly can understand WHY they would believe that the deity had answered their prayers. However, if you give God credit for saving your life, what about the other people in your community who saw theirs snuffed out? Unless you believe that the deceased were all atheists, Jews, Muslims and believers of our faiths, why didn't their god answer their prayers?

The Deep South is known as the Bible Belt. I am very confident that a good many of the people who died in these horrific storms were steadfast Christians. So, why did the three Christians who cowered in the tanning bed get to walk out alive, while so many other Christians in that same town and others did not? If one is going to give God credit for preserving some lives, it would seem that he should accept the blame for not preserving others.

For me, this provides an apt illustration of why prayer is more self talk than anything else. I am not denying that saying prayers might make a person feel more comfortable in a stressful situation, but it exerts little, if any, impact on how that situation plays out. For all the various people who prayed to be spared from the Grim Reaper in the Deep South, many were and many weren't.

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