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Summary: This message was prepared during the days follow- ing Hurricane Katrina which hit the Gulf Coast.

Karina & Christ (our Shelter from the Storm) p.1

Text-Isaiah 32:1-4

It’s great to be back in our church this Sunday!

We’ve all been through a terrible ordeal with Hurri-

cane Katrina. As a minister, and theologian, I’m try-

ing to make sense of all this. I wonder why it happ-

ened. I wonder if God was trying to say something to

us through all this. In Nahum 1:3 we read-"The Lord

is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at

all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the

whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the

dust of his feet."

I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers

to why this awful storm ravaged our area, killing so

many, leaving so much destruction behind, I’m trying

to find the answers. Many homes were completely de-

molished. Lives were lost. Schedules were interupted

and we all had to endure the heat, loss of electricity

phone service, maybe some-water supply, the darkness

at night, with only candlelight perhaps, and so many

other trying times, such as I had, waiting in line for

eight hours behind scores of cars, just for the right

to fill my car with gas-if you were fortunate enough

to locate any anywhere.

So, everyone suffered, good and bad, Christian

and non-Christian, rich and poor, educated and uned-

ucated, black and white-all of us.

I can say this, I did see God at work in some

people’s lives, reaching out to others with care and

compassion, trying to help.

Here are some of the most impressive statements

that I heard in the past few days:

a black woman-"This is a test. We’d better be careful

how we react to it. Maybe she’s right, but I won-

der, Did we pass the test?

a black man-(seen on my battery operated tv)-He told

of holding his wife’s hand as the storm violently

blew. She told him-"You can’t hold me any longer.

Let me go! Please take care of the kids!"

words scribbled on a wall-"Jesus is coming, whether

or not the government ever shows up!"

As a minister, as I said, I’m trying to understand

the "why?" of all this.

I. Perhaps God was trying to get our attention,

and to tell us that He would like a little of

our time

We’re all so busy we seem to not leave Him much

of the time that we all have.

II. Perhaps God was letting us see that there are

some things we can live without, but that we can

never survive without Him.

III. Perhaps God was trying to get us to think about

others more than ourselves for a change.

IV. Maybe God was trying to encourage us to live

by faith, and trust Him for our daily needs.

We had little or nothing perhaps to eat, drink,

or wear after days and days of the storm’s

aftermath.

V. Maybe God wanted us to see the good and evil

in man, and in ourselves.

VI. Perhaps God wanted us to stop and let Him

know that we appreciate what we do have, and

not complain about what we do not have.

VII. Perhaps He wanted us to minister to others,

and lead them to faith in Christ.

Martin Luther, I am told, once said-"Shake the

tree, and you will see if there is any fruit on

it!" All we had to do was look out our windows,

and we could see trees violently shaking back

and forth, falling on the tops of houses and

cars, destruction everywhere.

Maybe God shook us too, so that fruit would

fall from us.

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