Hurricane Katrina

A Reflection

September 3, 2005


God is love and goodness, and He would not allow suffering
and pain upon his children if it would not result in a greater good.

We pray today for all the victims of the hurricane Katrina. May God guide them, heal them and protect them and give them comfort and peace. We pray for all those who have died, may they have eternal rest and joy in Christ our Lord. Amen.

We cannot blame God for the tragedy that occurred in New Orleans. We can answer the question, "How did the hurricane happen?" but the answer to "Why did Katrina happen?" is more difficult. When God allows something to happen to His children is because a greater good will come out of it. We have seen God's love in the quick responses of people coming to each other's help. We have seen it in the way the tragedy unified communities and mobilized them to help. There is a lot of healing that can come from such a great tragedy. While millions suffered and cried in pain, Jesus was there crying with them. God does not rejoice in the pain of His children. Why did He not stop the hurricane from hitting New Orleans? That is a mystery.

God created us and then came to earth in person, the person of Jesus, to show us how to manage our lives on this earth. The greatest revelation of God to humanity was given in Christ Jesus. John Paul II said about five weeks before his death : “It is by contemplating Christ and following him with patient trust that we come to understand that every form of human suffering holds within it God’s promise of salvation and happiness.”

God created the world and it is not heaven. Heaven and perfection are with God. The day we die and go to heaven we will partake of that heavenly banquet. Meanwhile, here on earth we deal with creation as it is: A sweet and sour proposition. The joy of life is always accompanied by pain and suffering. The mother goes through birth pain before the joy of holding the newborn baby in her arms. So it is on this earth. Every good thing has a draw back.

God has given us life as a gift. There is nothing we have done to deserve life. He set our heart in motion and it will stop the day we die. Meanwhile we are to use our free will to worship, love and serve God, and at the same time love and serve our fellowmen. When we came to life, we came limited by the conditions of our existence. The earth is not all joy. We have to work for what we are, for what we have, for who we become.

We live in a world whose physical forces we are learning to tame. We cannot stop natural disasters, but we, with the intelligence God has given us, are able to forecast the path of a deadly hurricane and prevent many death from occurring. With the intelligence God has given us, we can create better levees and protective walls for a city like New Orleans. In the future, we may be able to light up a city without cables that can be broken by high winds, to maintain power in a hospital without outside help, to rescue people by the thousands in a moments notice, to have cell phones that work under adverse conditions. Humanity through years of research and study has developed ways to tame nature. God has given us intelligence to tame the elements for our benefits, but we must remember our limitations in rebuilding New Orleans so the tragedy is not repeated.

We cannot blame God for the tragedy that occurred in New Orleans.  When we get angry at God, we are not seeing the "whole picture."  Life is a gift from the goodness of God. God did not have to create us. He made us to know, love, worship, and serve Him. We may not be able to see all that God has done with our limited minds but we are able to see what He has shown us. Life is like a gigantic tapestry or an Oriental rug like the ones we lay on the floor in our living room and step on. All we can see is the back of the tapestry and, at that, only a few stitches. God can see the right side of the tapestry in all its beauty. When we experience a disaster, we are only seeing a stitch or two in the tapestry of life. The disaster itself is part of the plan of God. We cannot even begin to know the whole picture of our lives, only God knows. What I believe is that God is love and goodness, and that He would not allow suffering and pain upon his children if it would not result in a greater good.

Written by Marta Alves - September 3, 2005


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access (by faith
to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions,
knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out
into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5.


No Pain is without Significance

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