It's been six years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall. This morning I was reflecting on the time I've spent in Mississippi, wondering when I will be back there again, marveling at all that God has done in the Gulf Coast and through the people of the Gulf Coast when I suddenly remembered a conversation Yo Momma and I had with a resident of Pearlington on our first trip 6 months after the storm.
I think it was Ms. Virginia, I'm not positive, who looked at us after worship at the First Missionary Baptist Church and said "I am so grateful for the storm. It if hadn't have happened I would never have met you!". I couldn't believe that she was saying that, as we stood in a building next to the 100 year old sanctuary that had been completely destroyed by Katrina. I couldn't believe that as we listened to her share her story of losing all that she had. I couldn't understand how Ms. Virginia could be grateful for that storm.
I get it today. I am grateful, not for the horror of the storm, but for the experience of giving, serving, being served and witnessing the way that God has worked through the devastation Hurricane Katrina left behind and changed the lives of those who lived there, those who volunteered there and those who have come to love the Gulf Coast.
No, I don't think that God caused Hurricane Katrina nor any natural disaster to happen purposefully for the sin of the world. I do think that God will use each and every circumstance to bring about change for the good...and I have seen it happen firsthand. Six years later, I am grateful for the storm.