By Steve Horn
Lord, we are weary! Especially your people in Louisiana.
First, it was COVID-19. We spent weeks leading the nation in cases per capita. We went home. The economic impact of that is still being felt. When people went home, gas prices plummeted. So many of our people who make their living in the oil and gas industry suffered. Some were retired before they planned to retire. Others were not so fortunate. They are just unemployed. We are weary.
Then hurricane season arrived. Six times we have been in the “cone of uncertainty.” The “cone of uncertainty” became the “certainty of catastrophe” with Hurricane Laura. We. Are. Weary.
We are weary of blue tarps, if there is even something left to tarp. We are weary of FEMA. We are weary of the hum of the generator. And yes, we are tired of our new guest Jim Cantore. We are weary from all that has been lost. We are weary of the debris that is piled up at the road waiting to be removed.
Like Elijah of old, some days we want to find a tree to sit under to pray, “Lord, I’ve had enough.” But Lord, and I’m laughing to keep from crying, the tree was blown down by Hurricane Laura.
And now, comes Delta. Dear Lord, we’ve run out of names this year and have turned to the Greek alphabet. Lord, we are weary.
And Lord, while we are confessing, we are worried. We are worried that Delta will finish off what is left of us. We’re worried people are so weary that they won’t return. We are worried that the volunteers, who have blessed us so much, won’t return because they too are weary.
And so, we wait. We wait the next advisory. Will Delta shift east or west? A little slower or a little faster? What’s the exact timing? How long will we be without power this time?
But Lord, as we wait, help us, more than anything, to wait on you! For you have told us in your word, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) I am going to claim that peace today, even as I work on the thanksgiving part. We don’t see an exception to the “anything”–no footnote that exempts hurricanes, so we wait in prayer.
And as we wait in prayer, help us to wait in faith. You said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5) That challenges our faith as we pray.
And as we wait, help us worship. As you have reminded us so many times before, it’s hard to worry and worship at the same time. So please, let worship consume us, so worry won’t.
And we will watch. We will watch for you. We remember Jehoshaphat’s prayer, “We do not know what to do, but we look to You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)
As you told Moses, with the Red Sea before him and the army of Pharaoh behind him, “Stand back and see the salvation of the Lord.” (Exodus 14:13)
So Lord, take your weary, worried, and weakened people, and be strong on our behalf.
Steve Horn is Louisiana Baptists executive director. This editorial first appeared on the Louisiana Baptists’ website. To read more of his columns, click here.