Insurance Against The Hurricanes Of Life
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV
No matter how much time passes, this nation will always remember the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as it slammed into the Gulf coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi. We were shocked and horrified by the amount of devastation and destruction it wrought, especially in the city of New Orleans. This was not a shining moment for our nation and remains an unpleasant memory for our country. God’s Word speaks to us even in this and we can find encouragement and strength!
First, let’s dispel the thought that this horrible catastrophe in the Gulf States was somehow from God’s hand. Many people stated that it was His judgment and wrath for the sinfulness of New Orleans. Well, think about that for a moment. God is a just God and how unfair would that be for Him to bring destruction upon the city to wipe out the sin, and in the process destroy both the guilty as well as the innocent? Katrina leveled New Orleans which no one will deny is a city that has turned away from God with its obsession with sin of all types. However, Katrina also destroyed the property and lives of the innocents that lived outside of The Big Easy, and even outside of Louisiana. Would we then say that God struck the innocents in Mississippi just because they border the state that contained sinful New Orleans?
Nahum 1:2 gives us a lot of insight into this. In talking about the Lord being an avenging God it states, “…the Lord avenges and He is full of wrath…and reserves wrath for His enemies.”
The Lord does not pour out His wrath on the innocent and there were countless believers and children of His living in and around New Orleans. We should also realize that the destructiveness of Katrina pales in comparison to His “full” wrath. The flood of Noah is wrath! When God brought destruction it was total! If Katrina had been God’s wrath, there would be nothing left, period! It is not the Lord’s desire to see men suffer. On the contrary, listen to His love for the suffering from Ezekiel 34:12: “As a shepherd seeks out his sheep in the day that he is among his flock that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep; and I will rescue them out of all places where they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick darkness.”
That sounds much like Katrina victims, scattered and dispersed to all parts of the United States yet they are still His. He rescues them out of the day of clouds and thick darkness. He wants to reach them, save them and bring them into His eternal plan, not destroy them.
Disasters like Katrina should remind us of His goodness when we are faced with our own personal “Katrina’s” in life. As the verse above states as His promise, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3 is your Katrina insurance for your life.
J Todd Hostetler