At the time of this writing, the largest oil spill in U.S. history is still not under control. For 56 days after British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil platform was destroyed by fire, an estimated 1.7 million gallons of oil per day are pluming up from the well some 5,000 feet deep. The ecologic and economic impact of this event is unknown. The emotional toll has Gulf coast residents, many who rely upon fishing and tourism for their livelihoods, in fear and anger over the negative impact to their lives. And, let us not forget the families of 11 workers who lost their lives during the Deepwater Horizon fire.
I have been asked on numerous occasions to discuss how this disaster will affect the coral reefs and fish from Key West up through West Palm Beach, an area where most of our outdoor ministry is conducted. The simple answer is that I have no idea what short-term or long-term impact may be heading our way. But I do know one thing – it will be okay. Will this event not kill animals, destroy natural resources, affect our pocketbooks, diminish tourism, and do damage at many levels yet unknown? The answer is yes it will. But this is also a time when great faith can be mustered up and trust in the Lord shines for others to see. Consider these points:
- Prayer – Pray for those who are in charge of BP and clean up operations, that they may have wisdom and discernment to effectively manage this event.
- Forgiveness – Can you forgive those who are responsible for this event, or for those who are not adequately cleaning it up?
- Trust – Do you trust in the Lord? Do you possess a trust that knows He is in control and that He will see you through this event if it affects you?
Whether natural or man-made disasters, God is in control of them. Nothing happens apart from God. In Proverbs 3:5 we are instructed to trust in God, not in ourselves, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (NASB). In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul tells us this, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Romans 8:22 (NKJV). This earthly creation is broken under the fruits of the curse, but scripture promises the renewing of creation when there will be a new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1). Maranatha! Come O Lord!
Do not get caught up in the media-spun drama, rather pray for all involved that this event will be controlled, that people will come together in assistance, care and faith, and that lives will touched in a way that deepens understanding in the Lord. Amen.