Having spent many years in the South and on the East Coast, I've lived through snowstorms, blizzards, sleet, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. I've been through power outages, freezing temperatures and sweltering, humid heat. We could fry an egg on New York's sidewalk in August or sit on a porch in Mississippi sipping ice water in amazement that the trees, beautiful as they were, looked like a still-life painting. Not a leaf moved. And nobody, but nobody, joined us outside at midday. If the heat didn't get you, the humidity did. That was true in Florida too.
We are fairly new residents to the southern West Coast now. Florida did not have mountains, so it's quite a treat to see Southern California's majestic snow-capped mountains each morning from my patio. Florida's warm breezes can't compare to the 112-degree weather we experience in our valley in mid-July. My feet feel the burn in seconds.
But last week was a first for me. There were no tornado warnings, hurricane tracking or flash thunderstorms. I awoke feeling that my bed was being lifted, and my head was spinning. My balance was off; I was light-headed and experienced vertigo for the first time. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was memorable. I'll never forget it. Later that day, I was with my husband, and the blinds in our bedroom were swinging back and forth as though we were at sea.
When I turned on the television, I saw meteorologists reporting the 6.4 earthquake and predicting more aftershocks. The aftershocks came, but we were now expecting them. What struck me about the reports was the ticker tape at the bottom of the screen that read: "COPS [Citizens' Options for Public Safety]: Only call 9-1-1 in case of emergency." My first thought was, "If a 6.4 earthquake is not an emergency, what is?" Of course, I knew what they meant. We were in crisis, but some were in greater need than others. Don't call unless you are hurt or are in immediate danger, such as experiencing a fire, trapped somewhere or suffering from wounds.
Several days later, a 7.4 earthquake hit in the same area, but that was not the "big one." The "big one" has been predicted for years. How do we prepare for the "big one?" It will hit suddenly. It will throw you off guard, but it will come. Experts say we are long overdue. They are telling us to prepare.
s I've learned through the experiences of my life that the only "safe" place is in the perfect will of God. I've faced danger on many occasions, but God has kept my loved ones and me safe and secure. This doesn't mean we don't have to be prepared. It simply means that we prioritize our preparation.
Our first priority is our spiritual preparation. Let's make sure we are prepared to meet our Lord. Let's keep our heart right before Him and our spiritual accounts up to date. Then prepare for our emergency needs: flashlights, water, non-perishable foods, blankets and so forth. Follow the instructions of your community leaders and first responders. If you are able, be ready to offer assistance when needed.
We are in the last days and we need to heed our Lord's admonition to be prepared. (See Matt. 24:36-42; Matt. 25:1-13). We may not know what will happen from one day to the next, but He does and we can rely on Him.
My peace and my strength are in the Lord (Ps. 23). He is my strong tower, and the author and finisher of my faith. Whether there be storms or the unexpected, I am secure in Him. I trust you are as well.
Prayer Power for the Week of July 14, 2019
This week, thank the Lord that He is your safety net. Pray for those who have been victimized by natural disasters and for those responding to their need. Continue to pray for our nation, its leaders, allies, military and their families. Pray that they would have godly wisdom and wise counsel. Pray for the healing of our nation. Read: 2 Chronicles 7:14.
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