Hurricane season is no joke.
Hurricane Harvey completely devastated Texas. People all over the nation were uniting to contribute in any way they could. Many traveled for miles with their personal vehicles and boats to help with rescue efforts.
Then, Hurricane Irma decided to show up. At the time I’m writing this, the path is projected but it still hasn’t made landfall. Living in the panhandle of Florida, some of us are already preparing.
We, as [lifelong] Floridians, know that when a storm is Category 5, well organized, and HUGE, it’s time to take action.
At least a week before the storm was projected to hit, the stores were overrun with people buying water. Gas stations quickly ran out of gas. Non-perishable food items and canned meats basically flew off the shelves. Grocery stores tried to rush in delivery trucks and begged vendors to get product back in as quickly as possible.
The Christians began praying. Because, as most of us know, that’s really what we need to do first and foremost.
As I walked through my house gathering non-replaceable items to pack up – just in case – The Lord began to deal with about preparing for the storms. And not just the hurricane.
Preparing for the storms – like hurricanes.
What does that mean, exactly?
Preparing for a hurricane is different for different people. For me, because I know my home cannot withstand the hurricane force winds, I’m preparing for me and my family to stay with someone else. We had decided to stay with my parents. They have a brick home and we felt we would be fairly safe there.
The first thing I began to do was gather up important documents and things like pictures and keepsakes. I have a portable file tote that I keep our birth certificates, marriage license, insurance documents, etc. in. I grabbed the Bibles my children received when they were dedicated. The items that, should our home be destroyed, we cannot get back.
My Mom and I went to the grocery store. We bought food and water. But, because we have wells and water filters, we aren’t as worried about water. We wanted to make sure we had plans for meals, as they have a gas stove and we can still cook with no electricity.
Knowing that even if the storm doesn’t hit us directly, its sheer size could mean loss of power for where we live. From experience, we also know that tornados and high-speed winds are likely. Because of this, the windows need to be boarded up and anything in the yard that can be secured should be.
Those with space and ability to house evacuees might need to do so. Many people in Alabama and Georgia offered their property for those with campers. Others offered to open up their homes.
Preparing for the storms – of life.
We, as Christians, know that our lives aren’t always sunny and 75, so to speak. Living in the Sunshine State doesn’t mean you’ll never see clouds, and being a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t face difficult times.
Preparing for the hurricane means gathering up the important documents. As Christians, we can equate this to always having our Bibles. This is the most important document we have, and the one that brings us closer to God. We cannot neglect this vital part of our lives. The Bible cannot be replaced in our lives. And not just one specific Bible, but the word of God. We are to hide it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) so we can carry it with us wherever we go.
Christians also have to make sure we have what sustains us. We have to read our Bible, and we have to pray. Matthew 4:4 says we need more than just bread to survive. The only way we get through life’s storms is to prepare by staying close with our Heavenly Father.
As Christians, preparing for storms also means reaching out to those around us. Sometimes what happens was not aimed at us, but because we were near we still feel the effects. We also have to help those around us – brothers and sisters in need, as well as those who don’t know Jesus.
The most important thing we can do in preparing for the storms is to make sure our house is built upon the rock.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
When you build your life upon Jesus, you still have to face storms. The rains still fall, the winds blow, but the house will remain.
How are you preparing for the storms of your life?