Déjà vu

Seven years ago, I was sitting in a home without electricity much as I am today. I was preparing to preach a message called “Why Us?” You see, Katrina had just hit New Orleans and I was the lead pastor at Riverside Church in River Ridge, LA. I had just returned from Atlanta and was leading the start of a disaster recovery ministry.

“Why Us?” was a question I had thought about and had heard people sharing as we were processing what had happened through Katrina. Here we are seven years later and the same question comes to mind after Hurricane Isaac, “Why Us?” It is a normal question that one asks after events such as Katrina and Isaac.

As I was preparing that message seven years ago, God led me to the book of Job (I would encourage you to read this book for yourself… it gives some perspective). As I read chapter 1 through Job’s eyes, I realized that he had done nothing wrong and some of the worst circumstances ever had happened to him. He was a blameless and upright man who feared God and shunned evil. He was a great man of God and yet God allowed these horrible circumstances to happen to him. God actually allowed Satan to attack him. Yet Job’s response in Job 1:22 says, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

Circumstances (good or bad) in our lives do not tell us how God feels about us. Wealth (or lack of) does not tell us how God feels about us. Material possessions (or lack of) do not tell us how God feels about us. Destruction from hurricanes do not tell us how God feels about us. The cross is the thing that tells us how God feels about us. God sent his Son on our behalf. Now that shows how God feels about us. He has an everlasting love for us.

“Why Us?” – The question is, “Why Not Us?” God uses every circumstance of life to mold us into the image of his Son. These are stressful days recovering from Hurricane Isaac. Just remember that God uses all things for our good for those of us who are Christ followers… even Hurricane Isaac. God wants us to rise up and BE THE CHURCH in the days ahead. Through Christ in us, we will do it!