ChurchETHOS

Blogging New Orleans 2

Posted in uncategorized by Nathan Creitz on March 16, 2006

We arrived in New Orleans on Saturday night, March 4th and on Sunday morning we went to my former church. When I lived in New Orleans I volunteered as the collegiate ministry director for First Baptist Church New Orleans. It was great to return and see everyone that I had built relationships with over those two years that I lived in New Orleans. Along with my team, I heard an incredible sermon from Dr. Crosby. He has become the go to guy for a lot of the disaster relief that is happening in the city right now. It was inspiring to hear his perspective and to hear his humility as he mentioned how he felt like a cork floating along in the river of God’s grace (or favor…I don’t remember the exact quote, but both work). He mentioned how people all over the world are praying for the city of New Orleans and how the faith community around the country has poured out an overwhelming majority of the relief work. People are coming to Christ as a result of the love and help that has been offered by believers and God has blessed Dr. Crosby and people like Inman Houston and others that I remember from New Orleans with an overabundance of His favor. He is using them in mighty ways and I respect them for their faithfulness to be used by God in the midst of such devastation and tragedy.

As I heard Dr. Crosby speak, I remembered how I had prayed that God would awaken the city of New Orleans to His glory. For two years, I lived in total frustration at the debauchery and filth that surrounded me when I lived there. It was amazing to hear how God could miraculously use the devastation of a flood to cause people to turn to Him. I don’t know WHY God would allow something like Katrina to happen to New Orleans and I won’t admit that it was for judgment or for purification or anything like that. All I know is that God has used it to awaken the city of New Orleans to the glory of God and to the fellowship of His church. Not because I prayed it, but because it is His will.

For a couple of minutes, sitting on a pew again in the South, I was upset with God for not allowing me to suffer through the tragedy of Katrina and being used as his vessel to bring glory to Him as a result. I was envious of all of my friends there in New Orleans who are doing such incredible things for God there. I prayed so hard, but God didn’t consider me worthy to be a part of the restoration of the city that I was so burdened for.

However (and that’s a big however), I realized that the burden God has placed in my heart for the city of Boston is infinitely stronger than my burden for New Orleans ever was, and I cared greatly for that city. I remembered that I have also been praying that God would awaken the people of Boston to His glory and His will. Please don’t think that I hope for tragedy or suffering. God is accomplishing great things in New Orleans in the aftermath of a great tragedy, but that doesn’t mean the same will happen in Boston. And I’m certainly not praying for that specifically. I am praying that God will accomplish great things and awaken our city in whatever way that brings the most glory to Him. If that’s through one person being faithful to sharing their faith with another, and living every day for the cause of Christ, and denying themselves, taking up their cross, and following Jesus, then I want to be that person and I want to encourage others to do the same. I want God to restore Boston to Himself one person at a time if that’s His will or to do something huge. All I know is that my prayer for God would be glorified in this city and that people would be awakened to His presence WILL BE ANSWERED, not because it’s my will, but because it’s His will.

It will be accomplished and I am grateful that God has brought me to THIS city to be a part of what He is doing here. Thousands of people are praying for New Orleans and thousands more are awakened to His presence and I will not rest until the same happens in Boston. It won’t be my efforts that restore the glory of God in this city, it will be God’s glory invading our lives that will bring us to our knees again.

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