The most important lesson I learned after Hurricane Katrina, one I cherish to this day, is profoundly simple: Do not be afraid! Never in my wildest imaginations could I conceive of an event as dreadful as the storm. The death, the destruction, the loss, the pain, the despair: emotions that I had never experienced to that degree before, and problems for which I could not conceive solutions, rocked my world at a depth in my soul that I did not know existed. However, my Katrina experience is not about what I lost. It is about what I gained.
I gained an unshakable certainty that God is able to guide me, carry me, and sustain me through whatever life brings my way, no matter how terrible or overwhelming it may be.
Katrina was worse than my worst nightmare, but the Lord carried me through. We rebuilt the seminary and our lives.
Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world in 2020. Do not be afraid of anything at all. Our God is able to care for you. Nothing we face ever makes him nervous. The parting of the sea as the Israelites fled the Egyptians, the protection of Daniel in the lions’ den, the raising of Jesus from the dead: all are illustrations of this simple but profound truth. Do not be afraid.
Your Heavenly Father is able to care for you. What he has done for me, he will do for you!
Dr. Chuck Kelley retired in 2019 after 23 years as president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is online at drchuckkelley.com. Read his full column from the Summer 2020 issue of Resource magazine here.