The Other Reponse to Hurricane Katrina

I guess it was just a few weeks ago when I found myself complaining about traffic or something. That was also around the same time that I was down about life because expenses that were piling up with my house. I even remember being annoyed because of some things said or done by family and friends.

Today I’m not doing those things. Today when I get caught in traffic, I think of the traffic jams people are in trying to get to food and water. Today when I add up the expenses on my house, I think of the millions who wish they still had a house. And if I’m even tempted to be annoyed at family or friends, I will remember those who will never see their loved ones again.
The images from the hurricane ravaged areas are surreal in their horror. Scenes of lawlessness and death that should only be in the pages of Stephen King are undeniably on the covers of newspapers.

So much of me aches that there was no way for them to know how powerfually devastating Katrina would be. If only the experts could have predicted the massive flooding. If only there was mass transportation available which could have made it possible for people to vacate the doomed areas. If only...if only...if only.

But there weren't any of these things, and thousands are now trapped in areas with very little to hope for.

Let me throw a question your way. If you knew beforehand how severe Katrina was going to be and you had a way to let people know, would you?
At first thought I know you would say "ABSOLUTELY," but I beg to differ.

Perhaps you wouldn't because you wanted to build a relationship with those people before breaking any bad news. After all, you’re not from that area, so you might offend them and they might not like you anymore. Or maybe you would hesitate because you feel you don't know enough about how to warn people about hurricanes, and you certainly wouldn't want to look like an idiot.

Then there are those who might not say anything about the coming catastrophe because they feel it is really the job of someone else.

By now you should be thinking "what kind of fool would hold back warning people of an approaching catastrophe?"

Answer: the same kind of fool that you and I oftentimes play.

The Bible makes it crystal clear that at any moment a spiritual hurricane could come crashing down not in one region of the United States, but on the entire universe:

The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment. (II Peter 3:9-10)

The storm clouds have already gathered on the horizon, and Jesus is returning swiftly to judge the living and the dead. It will be the end of days as we know them, and nothing can stop it from coming. Much like Katrina, it will be a terrible tragedy beyond comprehension- but unlike Katrina, it will be worldwide. The good news is that it doesn't have to catch anyone by surprise. We are the warning system- and we are the only ones on earth who can alert everyone around us to the danger that faces us each and every moment!

Yet so many times we hesitate. We stumble and stall our way around our God given responsibility to warn people, worried about whether or not we might offend them or if we have a ‘deep' enough relationship to talk about spiritual things.

The events and catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina cannot now be changed, but let it serve as a reminder that we have been entrusted by God Himself to be the emergency broadcast system. There is an actual emergency coming, and we have been given instructions on how to proceed:

Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living! (II Peter 9:11)

Giving your time and money to help those is a no-brainer for Christians, but let this also be a reminder that the imminent return of Christ should motivate us to tell everyone we know about the incredible salvation offered them through the death and resurrection of Christ. Pray for those impacted by the hurricane, and pray also that you could impact those who haven’t trusted Christ. Most of all, be Jesus to the world so that the world could know Jesus. The choice is up to you.