Yesterday, everyone was convinced that this was "the big one" we've been waiting for. Time after time, hurricane season after hurricane season, we have consistently "dodged the bullet." More accurately, the Lord has taken his hand and nudged the storm away from our city. While I wouldn't say that the New Orleans area has escaped unscathed as it has before, this certainly appears to have been less than the catastrophic storm it was predicted to be...at least for us.
Is there damage?
Yes. (But the damage in these photos are not typical.)
Is there flooding?
Certainly. (This is the interstate interchange right near my church. This underpass gets about 6ft of water during a normal storm...this is somewhere around 20 ft. This is a dramatic photo but not indicative of flooding in the surrounding area.)
Power outages? Yes. Loss of life and property. Sadly, there almost definately has been. But is the soup bowl full to overflowing? No, it would appear not.
Levees have been breeched and at least one broke under the strain. There are some low-lying areas that are under 8-12 feet of water. But, within the city of New Orleans itself I have yet to hear reports of anything over 4-ft, which is not great, but not what they were predicting. Things could worsen, but our city has seen that kind of flooding without hurricanes...so as damage goes it isn't going to be extraordinary.
In yesterday's post I quoted a line from an e-mail I'd been sent the day before. It was from a word of prophesy that had been made and written down a year ago. It said that Ivan was about God's Grace and "Katherine" (or Katrina?) would be about purifying the church. The interpretation of those forwarding it on was that Katrina would destroy New Orleans and that what would be rebuilt would be a city that glorified God and that great revival would come to the churches.
A few weeks ago, I started reading Andrew Murray's Humility. In it he says "it is not sin that hubles most, but grace." One could also say that it is not wrath that humbles most but grace. Perhaps the purity will come because of God's mercy in causing this monster to graze rather than desimate us.
That is what I am praying.
It is my prayer that all believers will begin to say a loud what I read in Job this morning:
"I sinned and perverted what was right and it was not repaid me. He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit and my life shall look upon the light! (Job 33:27-28)"
Oh, Lord use this kindness to get the hearts of your people completely set on and surrendered to you. Use this kindness to humble us and make us a people that brings glory to your name...that proclaims your goodness before men and by their example and testimony leads others to repentance.
NOTE: After I posted this, I checked my e-mail and saw today's Elisabeth Elliot devotion.
Here it is:
Nothing is Lost
Paul was a man who suffered the loss of everything, according to his own claim. Yet any loss he counted pure gain. The key to this transforming of earthly losses into heavenly gains is love. What do we love? If our hearts are set on people and possessions and position, the loss of those will indeed be irreparable. To the man or woman whose heart is set on Christ no loss on earth can be irreparable.
It may shock us for the moment. We may feel hurt, outraged, desolate, helpless. That is our humanity. But the Lord can show us the "long view," the incalculable gain in spiritual and eternal terms, if we love Him above all. Everything that belongs to us belongs also to Him. Everything that belongs to Him belongs also to us. What, then, can we finally lose? If we lose not Christ Himself, we have finally lost nothing, for He is our treasure and He has our hearts.
Lord, help us as we go back and see what loss has been suffered that all is gain in Christ. Thank you for that promise!