George Bowers Sr. Preparing for the big storm

As I write this, Hurricane Irma is winding down in the southeast while Jose is sizing up the Atlantic Coast for a possible strike. After Harvey and all the horrendous flooding in Texas, we pray for a quick and quiet end to this year’s hurricane season.

Like millions of other Americans, Nancy and I have watched the Weather Channel more in the last couple weeks than we have in quite a while. Their on-location coverage is riveting and it’s amazing what meteorologists are able to predict. Even though hurricanes take their own paths, the ability to forecast potential storm tracks has saved millions of lives and billions of dollars. We can all be thankful that God has revealed this knowledge and for satellite imagery and computer modeling.

What a blessing it is to have advance warning and an opportunity to prepare. Even a generation ago, our parents would have had no idea the light rain that began falling in Texas would end up as a 50 inch deluge. They were often caught off guard by such storms with no warning whatsoever. The great hurricane that destroyed Galveston in 1900 was largely unexpected and between its 145 mph winds and 15 foot storm surge, it took 6-12,000 people into eternity.

How different that outcome might have been if they had had the National Weather Service, The Weather Channel, Storm Alerts, and other blessings we now take for granted. Unfortunately, some still ignore the warnings and insist on braving nature’s fury. Even now, those who chose to do so in the Keys are struggling without power, food, or water. It needn’t have been so.

As we pray and give to help the survivors, we must remember that another storm is brewing. In fact, the storms we’re seeing now are indications of the bigger one yet to come. This approaching event will be even larger than Harvey, Irma, and Jose combined and will affect not only our entire nation, but every corner of the globe. We all live in its path.

The Bible, which is infinitely more reliable than modern weather forecasters, tells us that a time of tribulation is coming upon the whole Earth unequalled since its creation. It tells us that this Tribulation will contain great earthquakes, violent seas, vicious wars, and horrible diseases and that it will not last just a few days, but seven long painful years. And just as the winds began to blow while Irma was still hundreds of miles from Florida, I believe we are beginning to see some of the early effects of the tribulation storm today.

So how do we prepare? The same way Florida’s governor saved his people. Evacuation! Just like most residents of the Keys moved north to avoid the worst, we too must make plans for a rapid exit. But since this storm will affect the whole Earth, the only safe shelter is heaven. And that’s just where Christ will take us before the storm hits if we trust in him. He loves us so much that he provided a way out of the storm for all who will accept him and his help.

Sadly, even though hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled with perfect precision, many still doubt it. Even sadder, the majority of humans who live squarely in the path of this approaching apocalypse are doing nothing to prepare, and instead of calling on the only God who can save them, they are turning their backs on him.

Some are trusting in their own good works not unlike the foolish individuals who thought their once secure homes could withstand 140 mph winds and 15 foot storm surges. Others discount the forecast altogether and pretend sunny skies will continue forever. Perhaps the most distressing are those who know and even believe the storm is approaching, but who persist in their sin.

I pray each reader will receive the grace God extends to all of us now. Unlike some of the overcrowded shelters that could accept no more people, heaven is large enough to hold whoever responds. Just like the rescue personnel in Texas and Florida, it’s not his will that any should perish but that all would be saved.

We have the 100 percent reliable forecast that puts us directly in the storm’s path. We have the 100 percent reliable remedy that offers refuge. We need only accept it and share it with others that they too might be spared. If you never have, receive Christ as your savior and if you have, share him with others. Blessings, George

George Bowers Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored nine books including his latest, Valley Verses, Volume III. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at gabowers@shentel.net.