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Katrina Meets Harvey

The National Weather Service had to add colors to depict rainfall totals over 30″. Because, you know, that never, ever happens. Until now. And we can still live with hope.


Here’s something I have learned about life. Moments come and go. Some are forever forgotten. Some are earmarked for celebration year after year as long as we walk this earth. Many, we wish to forget. 

I can easily make a list of ten things that will always be with me. Thing is – those “things” tend to shift priority on that list. Time either heals and we release our hold on them and their hold on us or bigger and badder or better events replace them.

Today, August 29, 2017 is the twelfth anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

This day will always bring pause to any conversation for each of us who lived through the trauma we experienced in those dark days, months and even years of recovery because a unity exists among the survivors. A silent hush in honor of her impact on our lives.

Yet, today August 29, 2017, brings us Hurricane Harvey.  He began his march into our home yesterday – southeastern Louisiana. The rains have already filled our rivers, yet there is no way I can take my eyes off the constant alerts coming out of the Houston area. To think it is possible for a storm greater than Katrina to move in and dictate our lives, is hard for all of us to grasp.

We don’t know what the next few days hold for us. 

As the rain continues to pound the entire southern coast of Louisiana, we shudder with the fear of unknown details. Through experience we know the potential this type of storm carries. We are helpless to control it yet we can prepare. I have many friends in the affected areas of Texas. Some had to be evacuated. Many are holed up in their homes because all streets surrounding them are impassable.

These days are about the physical storms in our lives. Hard times. 

God’s promises to us are clear – read Deuteronomy 31:6-8 NIRV where Moses is giving Joshua detailed instructions before he led the Israelites into the promised land as they faced great physical challenge from their enemies.

      6“Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t be terrified because of them. The Lord your God will go with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you.” 

7Then I sent for Joshua. I spoke to him in front of all of the people of Israel. I said, “Be strong and brave. You must go with these people. They are going into the land the Lord promised with an oath to give to their fathers. You must divide it up among them. They will each receive their share. 8The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.” 

When I read these verses I stand a little taller. I get up off my knees, dust the dirt off, the muddy flood waters or the burnt embers of the remains of my life – both emotional and physical, and lift my chin to the heavens in gratitude that my mighty God goes before me into all my battles – physical, emotional and spiritual. You might not see Him when you look at me, but be assured the same God who leads me is waiting to lead you as well. You are loved. 

Harvey’s march into our lives is far from over.  Twelve years on this side of Katrina, looking back, we can see God at work in so many stories. There are storms on the horizon before us but we don’t have to fear them. Our God is mighty and He loves us mightily. We don’t know how the storm will affect us in the next few days but we do know a victory awaits us. Because of the storms of the past, we know He will be with us through Harvey as well.

God Bless you with great peace and hope!


4 Responses to “Katrina Meets Harvey”

  1. Kea Hampton says:

    Well Said, Janet. There is not a single time that I hear “I will Praise You in This Storm” that I don’t think of Katrina. I heard it yesterday and thought of Harvey as well. God bless you as you praise Him through another Storm.

    • Janet Reeger says:

      Thank you Kea. I will never forget the first time I heard this song. I wept and then again every time I heard it for years. Thank you for walking through the storms with me. May God bless you in your storms as well. Love you.

  2. Your son says:

    It is crazy how relative this is to all aspects of life. An hour ago, I look out my window and it was raining, 10 minutes ago, the sun was out and it was blue skies, and now, the gray is back and rain is falling. Such is true in the day to day of our lives……

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