Blog Posts on Natural Disasters

Five Years Later: The 35W Bridge Collapse

David Mathis
Five Years Later: The 35W Bridge Collapse

It was five years ago today, on August 1, 2007, that the Interstate-35W bridge over the Mississippi River, near downtown Minneapolis, collapsed during rush hour.

Like no other tragedy in recent memory, the bridge collapse seized the collective attention of the Twin Cities metro, the state of Minnesota, and the surrounding five-state region of the Upper Midwest.

It seemed initially that dozens must be dead, but God was merciful. Amazingly, in the final tally, only 13... Continue Reading

Fierce Tornadoes and the Fingers of God

John Piper
Fierce Tornadoes and the Fingers of God

Why would God reach down his hand and drag his fierce fingers across rural America killing at least 38 people with 90 tornadoes in 12 states, and leaving some small towns with scarcely a building standing, including churches?

If God has a quarrel with America, wouldn’t Washington, D.C., or Las Vegas, or Minneapolis, or Hollywood be a more likely place to show his displeasure?

We do not ascribe such independent power to Mother Nature or to the devil. God alone has the... Continue Reading

Japan: After Empathy and Aid, People Want Answers

John Piper
Japan: After Empathy and Aid, People Want Answers


First things first.

When Christians see suffering they feel empathy. We too have bodies (Hebrews 13:3). Therefore, love commands, “Weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

Then comes aid. We want to help relieve human suffering—all of it, especially eternal suffering:

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).

And that includes enemies:

Love your enemies, do... Continue Reading

A Prayer for Japan

John Piper

The scenes of the tsunami in Japan are apocalyptic:

The power of moving water is greater than most of us can imagine.Nothing stands before it. We are driven to our knees:

Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel... Continue Reading

Japan, Sovereignty, and Mercy

Michael Johnson
Japan, Sovereignty, and Mercy

Japan’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake—the biggest one to ever strike Japan—echoes the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

In response, John Piper wrote an article titled “Tsunami, Sovereignty, and Mercy.” The essence of his main points are the same, slightly modified for Japan’s context:

  1. Satan is not ultimate, God is.
  2. Even if Satan caused the earthquake in Japan, he is not the decisive cause of the deaths, God is.
  3. Destructive calamities in this world mingle judgment and mercy.
  4. The heart that... Continue Reading

6 Ways to React to the Cyclone

John Piper

As the carnage from Cyclone Nargis moves toward 50,000 dead and beyond, there is a way to pray and act:

1. Be softened to the pain nearby.

The Good Samaritan knew nothing of the calamities in first century Burma, but was commended by the Lord for mercies at hand (Luke 10:25-37).

2. Pray for the followers of Christ in Myanmar:

  • That they would be still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10; 100:3).
  • That they would be awakened from the illusion that this life is long or sure or the... Continue Reading