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Hope in dark times

Brooke Myler  |  18 May 2020

When disaster strikes, rather than asking ‘why is God doing this?’ it might be more helpful to ask ‘what is God asking of me at this time?’

Last summer was one of the worst Australia has ever seen in terms of bushfires.

My home hadn’t burnt down and all my belongings were safe from flames, however the bushfires still affected me more than any other disaster Australia has faced. Family members of mine had lost their properties, animals and businesses.

Like many other Australians, I donated to a number of charities. However, like many others, I was asking why God would allow these disasters to take place, and struggling to find answers.


One Sunday in November, I went to church hoping to seek more help from God and get a better understanding of how our faith could help others. It happened that the priest at Mass delivered a beautiful homily asking the exact question everyone was asking, ‘Why is God doing this?’

He said not to think of God in this way, but to thank him for putting people on this earth who could help fight the flames. Firefighters, volunteer firefighters, charities and animal care workers were all working 15+ hour days to make sure that our country was being saved.

It was at this moment that I realised I had been thinking of this situation wrong. God had been putting his trust in each person to fight these fires. My eyes were opened after this and I decided to help my community as best I could. Just because I wasn’t affected by the fires, it didn’t mean that I needed to turn a blind eye and just hope that everything would be fixed.


My father grew up in Casino in northern New South Wales. We saw that a town nearby, Rappville, was one of the worst affected in the fires in October. Two residents had died in the fires and 52 homes had been destroyed. My dad had some family friends living in that area, so the two of us embarked on a five-hour journey with the aim of bringing some relief.

When arriving in Rappville I couldn’t believe the damage they had faced. The news had shown the trauma of these towns, but it was completely different being there in person. It was clear that the town was suffering and due to the evacuation of many locals the shops and roads were bare, and people were avoiding the smoky air.

Some residents who has lost everything said to me that they were still hopeful and trusting in God that everything would be OK. We handed out some items that we’d purchased at the supermarket – water, food and toiletries. Being there in person gave me a newfound respect for the volunteers who were giving everything they could to help.


It’s remarkable to think that in such dark times, so many people could be moved to be helpers. The events of the bushfires, and our recent coronavirus lockdowns, are something that Australians nation will never forget. However, it’s also important to realise that there are bright moments of love and charity in these dark times.

God’s teachings and messages of love and support helped myself, friends and family get through these horrible times and I know this trust helped others too.

Image: Getty Images


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