Rita and the Golden Heart in the same year??? Okay, so it wasn't exactly that Rita (the RWA award for published romance novels), but the irony is not lost on me. I'm just thankful our part of Texas didn't get hit as hard as those notoriously fallible weathermen were predicting. Unfortunately, Katrina did a number on everyone's psyche, and panicked residents hit the highways to make a run (or rather a crawl) for safer lodgings. The massive traffic jams on all freeways out of the Houston area only underscored the rightness of our decision to stay put.
So we've spent the past few days undoing all our hurricane prep work--unboarding boarded-up windows, moving patio furniture and potted plants out of the garage, putting away tools and emergency supplies--plus cleaning up the debris Rita left behind in the form of broken tree limbs, fallen pine needles, etc. And all this in record-breaking September heat! At least we were spared a power outage, unlike other parts of the area that were hit harder.
John Fischer, in the Purpose-Driven Life devotion for September 21, tackles the big question of God's sovereignty in light of disasters like Katrina, and now Rita: "If God is in control of everything and He is a loving God, how can He let something like this happen?" Why was New Orleans nearly wiped out? Why, when the Houston area either evacuated or "hunkered down" anticipating a category 5 hurricane, did Rita slip farther east and make landfall as "only" a category 3? I doubt Houstonians prayed any harder than New Orleans residents did.
Fischer responds this way: "Our inability to accept these paradoxes is our problem, not God's. God is not hauled into court by our questions. God simply will not sit on the witness stand and have His activity scrutinized by us. . . . So we are left to make our way--to figure out, as both Job and Solomon did, how to accept difficult things from Him and still honor and worship Him."