Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thoughts on Hurricane Katrina

You may not have time to read this but I didn’t have time to write it, so that makes us about even. These are just a few things that have been running through my head as I struggle to take in the scope of this disaster.

Life is a vapor

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

James 4:14

I doubt anyone affected by the hurricane thought a month ago they would be where they are now. Just think about everything you own, maybe even everyone you love. Gone in one night. Never to return. The rest of your life, if you lived through it, you will be recuperating from this loss. America is a culture of comfort. Yet this comfort is a deadly false security. God can take it away in an instant. Don’t let the comfort of the present blind you from your need to know Christ and shout His salvation from the rooftops to a dying world. Tomorrow is not promised to us. The time to know and live the Gospel is now.

Trials beyond control reveal who we are

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked,

And the one who loves violence His soul hates.

Psalms 11:5

For the past few summers I have worked alongside Marines and former Marines at the MCRD SD Command Museum. Being around some of these veterans I have come to realize that these men, some of them decorated war heroes from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, are just normal people. Often I would find out after knowing one of them for a year or two that they had done some act of valor on a distant shore long ago. I never would have known, as in every day life these men often seem – just plain old and unexciting. Their personalities don’t stand out as saying, “look at me! I’m a courageous war hero!” The point is that under fire, spiritually or physically, our true selves surface. Someone who may appear on the surface to be a witless, grumpy old man may in fact be capable of heroic acts. The opposite can also be true. As the chaos grows, stories of looting, violence and rape are pouring out of the South Coast. People who may have grown up together in the same neighborhood have caste aside concern for their neighbors and in turn have let loose the desires of their depraved hearts to run rampant through an authority-less city. With restraints gone, their true selves are being shown. That is not to say that everyone in New Orleans is a rapist, or even that there are no believers in New Orleans. I have no doubt that as we speak, heroes are being made. Unfortunately we will probably not hear much of them as brotherly love is not as news worthy as depravity and suffering.

God is Sovereign

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."

Rev 4:11

Hurricane Katrina would have never existed unless God had allowed it to. At times like these, God’s sovereignty is hard to swallow. But remember this we are the creations, not the Creator. We see only one small part of His eternal plan. Who are we to tell God what to do? We do not yet know how God will use this tragedy for His glory and the salvation of souls. It is times like these that we realize our need for a sovereign Lord and Savior.

A Sovereign God still cries

I’ve always been amazed at the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11). Christ in His divinity knew that he had the power to and was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. Yet when he sees the masses of mourners wailing at the grave of his dear friend, Jesus begins to cry. Again when Christ was looking over the city of Jerusalem, He wept bitterly because of their rebellion (Luke 19:41). Often in we are told in Acts and the Letters of Paul that Paul wept frequently through the pains and trials of giving His life for the Gospel and those he shared it with.

What am I getting at? Our unwavering confidence in an Almighty, All-knowing, All-controlling, and Sovereign God can never be an excuse to let our hearts grow hardened to the suffering of His image-bearing creations. Part of true love is feeling the pain and sorrow of those who are suffering.

As Christ’s body we must continue to lift up these people in prayer that God would shine His light of grace, redemption, and hope in this dark hour. We also must seek to serve in anyway possible. Ambassadors of Christ, the time is now.

By His grace, for His glory,
JRF

5 comments:

Tim said...

hahaha, you got spammed!

good words, though. not only is this a time to show Christ's compassion and love, but its also a time for people's hearts to be brought to Christ.

eric said...

Amen, John, well said. The looting part of all this is saddest to me. Total depravity...

Beth said...

Your blog is great, I'm sure you would be interested in my search engine. It is called google. You can find it at http://www.google.com.

ha just kidding

Great stuff!

J.R. Freiberg said...

thanks

wow I've never had a cyber-friend from New Hampshire
you're not as wierd as Tim are you?
just kidding

Beth said...

Yes, several of Tim's friends were frightened to hear that there is another person on this earth that shares a significant portion of his DNA. Wait until he and Leah start having kids!