George Bowers Sr.: Getting ready for the storm
Last week our valley got one of the biggest snowstorms we’ve seen in a while. Since then, most of us have dug out and resumed normal lives and schedules. In fact, those few days of being snowed-in allowed many to enjoy a much needed break or to catch up on some things around the house.
We should be very grateful for our weather forecasters, even if they do miss it from time to time. Imagine a storm like the one last weekend arriving with no prior warning. Imagine being caught out on the roadway and all of our children at school as the inches continued to accumulate. The deaths and destruction would have been much higher and the inconvenience much greater if we had had no advance notice.
Because of the weather warnings beforehand, we were able to assemble needed food supplies, draw extra water, locate candles, make sure our generators and snow blowers operated correctly, charge up our cell phones, and, in many cases, get home early last Friday. Although we are free to ignore such storm warnings, we do so at our own peril as demonstrated by those who were stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for several days after discounting the forecasters. (Have they gotten home yet?)
Last week’s blizzard will not be the last weather emergency we will see. Future events will continue to necessitate alerts for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and snowstorms. We are indebted to those who monitor the indicators, study the atmospheric patterns, and then formulate forecasts so we can be ready.
So too, we must be prepared for another approaching event of even greater proportions. Although Winter Storm Jonas affected about 80 million people, this future occurrence will be global in nature. It has been forecast for thousands of years and numerous warnings have been issued. Sadly, it seems, few are making any preparations for this worldwide cataclysm.
I’m writing, of course, about the impending Day of the Lord that virtually every biblical prophet warns us of. In the Book of Revelation, John describes horrendous destruction that will culminate in a global holocaust consuming all who have not already perished from other catastrophes or been rescued by God. Even Jesus himself described a time of distress unequaled since the beginning of the world. He gave us a glimpse in Matthew 24 of international devastation caused by man-made factors, such as war and economic collapse, as well as natural disasters such as earthquakes and meteors. Anyone can examine the indicators he predicted and recognize this storm is near.
If just one individual predicted such events, we could dismiss him as misguided or crazy. But when forecasts echo from a multitude of highly respected individuals whose words have proven true in every other instance, we would be incredibly foolish to ignore them. In addition, to disregard the son of God when he foretells such events is physical and spiritual suicide and even more irresponsible and inexcusable than ignoring human forecasters when they tell us of an imminent blizzard.
Over and over again, whenever the biblical writers speak of these events, they almost invariably tell us what Jesus says in Matthew 24, “Be ready!” And in Mark 13, “If He comes suddenly, do not let Him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!'”
So how do we prepare for this impending storm? If we never have, the first and most important step is to admit our sin to God and ask him to forgive us through the blood of Jesus. If we have done that, but we’ve been living in disobedience, we must repent of our sin and turn back to God. And if we have done all this, we should do all we can to help our family, friends and neighbors prepare that they might not be caught in the carnage.
God’s word is true and his judgment is coming. Even Thomas Jefferson trembled when he considered that God’s justice would not sleep forever. The time to prepare for any impending disaster is not after it has hit, but before. Heed this yet additional warning and prepare today for the approaching storm Jesus promised. Getting ready, George
George Bowers Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of seven books including his latest book of poetry, Holy Verses. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.