Hurricane Katrina may prove to be the costliest storm ever in recorded history in the U.S.; even now, the day after, the toll continues to climb.
Sixty-eight confirmed dead thus far, but that number will no doubt climb into the hundreds, perhaps even passing a thousand when all is said and done. Whole towns and cities were inundated by the floodwaters and storm surge; there are still places inaccessible to rescue teams until the waters subside. The horrors that await them can well be imagined.
Many may ask, “Where is God in all of this? Why did He allow this to happen?” And, of course, there are no easy answers. The shock of the December 26th tsunami, and now this, leaves us with many questions.
Yet, no matter what happens in the world around us, God is there. Though people do not follow God’s ways, God is able to take the most horrible of circumstances and bring about His plan anyway. God is ultimately in control over world events, whether we like to acknowledge that or not. If you are God’s, then you can rest on this promise: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
That doesn’t mean that those who know God will escape difficult times. They won’t. When disaster strikes, it causes great suffering and death, and those who know God will be involved in that suffering also. But there is a peace and a strength that God’s presence gives. One follower of Jesus Christ put it this way: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Reality tells us that we will experience problems in life. However, if we go through them while knowing and having God in our hearts and minds, we can react to them with a different perspective and with a strength that is not our own. No problem has the capacity to be insurmountable to God. He is bigger than all the problems that can hit us, and we are not left alone to deal with them.
He is there. And He cares.
I pray that these words, along with the Holy Spirit, bring comfort and encouragement to those who are suffering through this tragedy right now.