God Knows

Posted: September 9, 2005 in Uncategorized

It has been a week and a half since hurricane Katrina desimated the Gulf coast region. My heart breaks. The pictures on the television bring me to tears. My heart is flooded with a wide array of emotions. I thank God that family that lived in the Gulf coast region are doing well. I praise God for sparing them. Yet, I hurt. I question. I find myself asking the questions: Why? What will happen next? How many lives were lost? How can God allow such a thing to occur? Questions are healthy. Questions allow us to interact and learn. Questions allow us to challenge our beliefs.
I believe God is loving and holy. I believe God is just. I believe he has placed us on this earth at this time so that we may seek Him, reach out to Him, and find Him reaching back to us. God knows each story. God knows each heart. God knows what will happen next. God knows! God knows that many people only call out to Him in the midst of tragedy. God knows that we often overlook the poor and homeless. God knows us. God knows what it is like to lose a loved one. God knows lonlieness. God knows that we desire authentic relationship. God knows!
My wife and I have always had a heart for the inner city. We long to minister to broken people. We believe that God’s story can change the neighborhood, the city, the state, the nation, the world. The two cities that often came to mind in our prayers were New York City and New Orleans. My first visit to New York City came in 2001. I had been praying for the people there and for the city for a few years before. We made it to our home in Lubbock, TX on the last flight in September 10. We woke Tuesday to go to class and was sharing about our time in the city and how we were praying for open doors. The towers were destroyed that day. My heart still aches over a city I have grown to love and pray for.
My first trip to New Orleans came just a few weeks ago. The sights and sounds still burn bright in my memories. I loved the city. I loved walking the French Quarters. I loved the begneits. I loved the people. My heart broke for the people. I sensed hopelessness all around me. The eyes of the street kids and homeless men and women we passed on the street burn deep int my mind penetrating straight to the heart. I hurt so bad for the lost. Spirituality was all around. That spiritual seeking came in the form of palm reading, tarot cards, voodoo, and countless others. Sin was prevelant. The darkness semed overwhelming, yet I knew the light of Christ could shine on the dark city. We prayed for New Orleans, we prayed for God to work in the city.
The hurricane overtook the city. Many fled, many died, many were forced to live in unfit conditions. All needed refuge from the storm. Some believed they had refuge where they were at. Others sought refuge in the Superdome or Civic Center. Others evacuated to find refuge in  other cities, other states. I pray that all find refuge in Christ.
I still question. I don’t know why the two cities that often came to our mind when discussing posibilities of future church planting faced such tragedy, but I do know the One who gives us refuge. Pray for the victims, pray for the reuniting of families, pray for hearts that are open to God. Pray! 
But most all, in the midst of all the uncertainty, realize: God knows!

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