- Rhonda Kelley
A Katrina Promise for a Worldwide Pandemic
Fifteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of America as a category five hurricane. The physical devastation was historic, and the emotional impact continues. As the powerful storm hit our city of New Orleans and the levees broke, the campus of New Orleans Baptist Seminary where we lived and served was flooded, not for hours or days but for weeks. Literally, we felt like the waters were overflowing us! But, God spoke from His Word and gave us many promises for that uncertain time. Though the storm in 2020 is different from the storm in 2005, those promises are true today and will carry us through this worldwide pandemic caused by the outbreak of Covid-19.
As I have been reading through the Bible this year and found myself in the prophetic book of Isaiah, I was struck profoundly by the precious promises of God for our times of trial. In Isaiah 43:1-2, God reminds us of who He is and how He will care for us. If you believe in God and trust His promises, you need not fear.
“Thus say the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel; Fear not, I am with you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isa. 43:1-2).
Even though the health pandemic is frightening and the social unrest is disturbing, FEAR NOT! Even though our rebellious actions should receive His judgment, FEAR NOT! Even though our sinfulness should bring death, FEAR NOT! Hear and believe these promises of our faithful God:
· God has redeemed you. God who has saved you continues to redeem you by exchanging what seems bad in your life for something good.
· God called you by name and claims you as His own. God who created you knows you personally and will always love you as His beloved child.
· God will be with you and will not allow the waters to overflow you. God is with you through the power of His Holy Spirit and will never leave you alone to fight your own battles.
· God will walk with you through the fire and protect you from being burned. God is not simply on His throne in heaven watching the events of the world and your life. He is walking through life with His arm around you and His wings to cover you.
· He is the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. God is the only one true God who is holy in His nature and personal in His relationship with you. He is your Lord and your Savior.
The previous passage of Isaiah 42 records the punishment of God on Israel because of deliberate disobedience. But, God the Redeemer demonstrated His grace and mercy to His chosen ones when He assured them of His presence and protection. Many people in our world today, even those who profess to be followers of Jesus, have chosen to rebel against God and go their own ways. God reminds His remnant of followers that He is with us and will protect us even though the storms and fires around us seem so perilous. DO NOT FEAR! He is our God who is still on His throne. He will strengthen and guide us. He will provide and care for us. He will redeem these bad times for His good. Join me in clinging to this powerful promise of our Omnipotent Heavenly Father!!!