By: Gary L. Hutchens
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Ps. 127:1). If God is not behind something, it will ultimately fail, no matter what it is. If God does not watch over something, it will ultimately come undone. If God does not protect the border, any boundary will ultimately be breached. There is no security, in the ultimate sense, this side of Heaven! That’s the long and the short of it. Consider the mighty city of New Orleans in regard to Hurricane Katrina.
The roadways into the city are a testament to modern engineering. They traverse vast marshland with ground so soft and unstable that it continually moves. They span open water for ten to twenty miles at a stretch. Even in the face of such obstacles, those roadways ordinarily provide safe passage into and out of the city. But suddenly, huge sections of at least one of those roadways were gone. Much of the remaining spans were under water, and another section was so hammered by the elements that its integrity had to be checked out to see if it was still safe to travel.
The system of levees and flood walls is enormous, monumental. Levees as high as buildings, in some cases wide enough at the top to drive on, running for miles and miles and miles. Flood walls a solid one foot thick, and much thicker at the base, built of steel reinforced concrete, fifteen or more feet high. But without warning huge, gaping sections broke away, allowing untold millions of gallons of water to rush through the breaches into the city.
An incredible pumping system, perhaps the most efficient on earth, with enormous pumps designed to drain water quickly enough to prevent flooding, positioned in an intricate web throughout the city. But the pumps failed and lay silent, allowing the floodwaters to go where they would.
The city is rich with history and character. Live-oak-lined streets. Streetcars that still provide vital mass transportation. Everywhere, homes that portray architecture from historical periods long gone, a great many of which are more than 100 years old. At the same time, an impressive skyline with numerous skyscrapers and even the superdome. Home to half a million people! But now much of the city lay under floodwater filled with garbage, sewage and all the bacteria and micro-organisms that naturally go therewith. Vehicles rest in the floodwaters everywhere.
If our strength is anywhere but in the Lord, we live in weakness. If our security rests on any source other than God, we have no security. If our hope is anywhere other than in Christ, we are without hope. If Heaven is not where we are headed, we are headed nowhere! The terrible tragedy that struck the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina is glaring testimony that this world holds no ultimate security for us. Let us learn the lesson that real hope, absolute security, and true meaning in life is found only in a life lived for God. Living with our eyes on Him, we can always look up and ahead…
Gary L. Hutchens