Weather isn’t the problem; our preparedness for it is. That’s never been more obvious than yesterday with the crippling snow in the south. The folks in Michigan accuse us of being weak-kneed, but all things are relative. Folks in Atlanta are simply not prepared for the kind of storm they experienced yesterday. The ice storms of 2011 caused them to panic briefly, but the powers that be promised it would never happen again.
We all make promises in the heat or cold of the moment, but they are forgotten as soon as things cool down or warm up. After all, it’s never going to happen again. While we cannot prepare for or even imagine every disaster, we can be prudent. The storm was coming, and we all knew it. It is better to err on the side of reason and let go of our plans for a day than face the mess those poor folks in Atlanta faced yesterday. I remember a year when I had to wait for all the children to get home before leaving school. I was scared I wouldn’t get home myself, but there was comfort in being with others. I never had to spend the night with my students during a storm, and I’ve never found myself stranded in a storm on the side of the road. I thank God for both and pray I’ll be a little more prudent myself when it comes to future preparations.
I know I should have water, food, blankets, and flashlights in my car, but I don’t. I know I should keep my gas tank full during winter months, but I don’t. I don’t always do what I know I should do. God would interject an amen here if He weren’t such a patient, loving Father. The lesson this week has been, ready or not, the storms are coming. Preparing for the personal storms in life are not as simple as putting emergency kits together or stocking the pantry. They require emptying, opening, and trusting completely.
Stacking supplies leaves me feeling smug and self-sufficient. I’m a survivor, so bring on your worst. I’m ready and looking forward to the opportunity to say, “I told you so!!” Emptying out leaves me feeling vulnerable and dependent. I accept the reality that I cannot make it on my own. I’m ready to say, “I need You so!” There is a world of difference in the way I prepare my home and my car and the way I prepare my heart and my mind.
Ready or not, disasters will continue to come as long as we are in this world. Thankfully, they are few and far between. Ready or not, Christ is coming! Preparing for His return is never a disaster drill, even though it is often portrayed as such. Preparing for His return simply involves letting go, surrendering to His love, and letting Him lead the way home. The beautiful news is that He is always nearby and ready to help with the clearing and cleaning necessary to experience His kingdom now. Lessons in preparedness are most effectively taught in my unpreparedness. That way, I won’t forget them. God mostly wants me to be prepared to accept and share His love. Sounds easy enough, but I often get stranded when it comes to my heart! The path sometimes seems unnavigable, but then I remember I’m not alone. Christ’s promise in Matthew 28:20 is one I can count on, and that changes everything 🙂
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NASB