Friday, October 18, 2019

No one expected it to happen to him!

No one expected it to happen to him. He had been doing it for decades. He was considered a professional in the field of tornadoes research. We have all heard of adrenalin-crazed storm-chasers who, with reckless abandon, drive dangerously into storms with their cameras to prove they did it and survived. But Tim Samaras was not one of them. Samaras was respected around the world for his research into violent weather and tornadoes. He traced his fascination with tornadoes back to his childhood, when he first watched the violent storm sequence in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. That’s when he said he was ‘hooked for life.’

Samaras and his team starred on "Storm Chasers" for five years on the Discovery Channel, with the last show in the autumn of 2011. Speaking with a reporter from the National Geographic, in what would perhaps be his last interview, Samaras gave some advice about being safe in tornado country. 

It was 11PM, in Oklahoma, the Mecca of storm-chasing according to Samaras, when the veteran storm-chaser tweeted: “Dangerous day ahead for Oklahoma – stay weather savvy!” He, his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young were together tracking the latest round of tornadoes to tear through central Oklahoma. Then it hit - an erratic tornado that gained strength quickly. The very wide wobbling tornado turned unpredictably – catching them off guard and in a place where they did not want to be. Meteorologists, weather buffs and storm chasers around the world were shocked to learn the next morning the tragic news of the fate of the world’s foremost tornado expert, his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young. 

What about us today, can we draw some spiritual parallels from this tragedy that could benefit you and me spiritually? Only a very few people have an inner attraction to storms and become storm-chasers; but all, without exception, are sin-chasers. We all have sins we chase but the chase is rarely public. Often the chase is under-the-radar and not detected, but nothing is hidden from God.

The Bible acknowledges that there is ‘pleasure in sin’ but it is short lived,  Hebrews 11:25. So there are times when sin thrills. But sin is not all thrills. The side-effects and consequences of sin, can be downright brutal, leaving emptiness, many regrets along with deep wounds and scars. When our first father Adam introduced the sin virus into the human family, the ripple effect of his sin was far-reaching and devastating.  The Bible puts it this way: '... just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned...'.

Deadly diseases and killer storms are darkly eclipsed by the most deadly force known to the universe – sin! Sin, as a process, is unpredictable but its end results are not. Not everyone who drinks or does drugs or gambles becomes an addict. But sin can wobble out of control and take sudden unpredictable turns. The Bible talks about the ‘deceitfulness of sin’. But the end result of all sin, of every kind, (small and great) is always the same: separation from God and spiritual death. 

Even the most amateur storm-chasers understand you don’t win when you take a direct hit from a tornado. We are no match for the forces of nature. Spiritually, the Bible teaches that there is not one solitary thing humans can do to win against sin. Good works, religion, prayers, sincerity or charity cannot eradicate the root of sin in all of us. Human efforts and programs can help us minimise and curtail and even remove some of the side-effects of sin – but no amount of human effort can free us, once-for-all, from the inner root problem of sin.

What is your spiritual plan of action against sin? Are you prepared for death and beyond? The warning from the Bible is constantly sounding – left without a shelter, you will have no safe and secure eternal refuge. The good news is: Jesus Christ is the one and only shelter for sinners. If humans are no match for the power of tornadoes, how much less are we equipped to deal with the power of sin!  

In our powerlessness over sin and vulnerability, listen to what the Bible says: 'While we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly,' Romans 5:6. 'Whoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved,' Romans 10:13.  'The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses from all sin,' 1John 1:7.

Written by a Guest Blogger

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