Dear God, Why Are There Natural Disasters in Our World?

Rockhampton in flood
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tatters:)

“Dear God, Why are there natural disasters in the world?”

Often I ask this question.

Floods in Queensland & Natural Disasters Worldwide

As I’ve visited here in Australia, I’ve noticed that the latest headlines are on the floods in Queensland. There are news items on it, and there are even appeals through social responsibility to help the people of Queensland. Donate now to the flood relief appeal!

As I witness this, I reflect to myself about the other natural disasters that have occurred in recent times, including those in Haiti and even the Philippines. In 2007, I first got involved in rebuilding efforts after the typhoon that hit the Philippines. I’ll be heading back to Bangladesh in a couple of days, and I’m often reminded of the impact of natural disasters as I’ve been involved in contingency planning for them. Many of my colleagues and friends in Bangladesh were also a part of the relief efforts after one of the biggest disasters in recent Bangladeshi history, with Cyclone Sidr. Hearing their stories are also very inspiring.

Whether its a developed country like Australia or a developing country like the Philippines or Bangladesh, natural disasters can have massive negative effects on communities worldwide.

A Spiritual and Philosophical Explanation on the Occurrence of Natural Disasters?

Now, I consider myself to be quite a spiritual person. At the same time, I respect other religions and other forms of spirituality.

For my own spiritual questions, however, I’ve asked myself why natural disasters take place? I’m not sure I have completely solved it, nor do I fully understand why they occur. Sure, there are the scientific explanations of the movement of tectonic plates, changes in climate and one-off shifts in the earth’s workings.

But since I’m a firm believer in a spiritual Creator, I often wonder why she would allow for natural disasters and calamities to occur. It seems as if they are mistakes or accidents in nature. Why would they allow for it?

One idea that I have is that the Creator did make the universe and the earth as a dynamic thing. It changes and adapts just as much as humans do. It corrects itself and it is constantly changing. This is a very natural thing. Change and adaptation is also a very human thing. Unfortunately, sometimes human communities are in certain places where natural changes are taking place, and that’s when a natural environmental change can lead to suffering, destruction and even death. I think the Creator intended that the earth be a dynamic and constantly changing entity.

I’ve heard one kind of explanation which says that suffering occurs in the world so that you may notice it and so that you can actually do something about it.

Helping Others in a World of Uncertainty and Change

I’m still unsure what the correct answer to it all is. What I do believe however, is that we need to help each other as best as we can, especially when unexpected natural disasters strike. I’ve seen cyclone preparedness programs being established in Bangladesh, and I do believe that prevention before a disaster is much better than relief.

In the end, sometimes as humans we have to accept that we can’t explain every little thing. I think we do, however, have to take responsibility for what we do now. You may not be able to fully predict the weather. Nevertheless, you can take some preventative measures to avert mass human suffering. You can also help those who are in need after a natural disaster.

Help Our Aussie Mates in QLD

As an Australian myself, I’d like to appeal to you to donate now to the flood relief appeal for Queensland! It can be a great way to show support in your business through social responsibility.