We’re busy getting ready for Hurricane Isaac. We’re hoping it will be no more than a few thunderstorms (a phenomenon we in south Florida are quite comfortable with) but with each new advisory, we are realizing we should feel the force of a category 1 storm. Naples is officially under a hurricane warning so, as happens every time, panic is spreading around our little corner of the world. Gas stations, grocery stores and Home Depot are thriving. Facebook is blowing up with Isaac information.
My daugter and nephew are out back keeping guard over the fire pit. We’ve been diligently piling all of our flammable disposables i.e. old furniture, boxes from our move in May, leftover wood from my husbands jobsites. The hope was that when it wasn’t 100 degrees outside we could use these items to make our fire pit into an entertaining winter evening activity. Now we realize what we’ve really created is a large pile of soon to be projectiles. They must go.
I’m taking inventory of what I can cook without electricity in hopes of saving myself a trip to town tonight (It’s not looking good). I’m catching up on laundry so we’ll have clean clothes to wear with or without power and water. We have flashlights, candles, battery-powered radios and batteries to go with them.
My extended family is trying to decide whose house is safest to ride out the action so we know who gets to stay home and who spends the night here or where. Which makes me think I’ll probably need more food because we’ll probably have company. It’s an adventure after all. Why have an adventure alone?
If only we had time to prepare for all of the catastrophes life throws at us. Then again, maybe we do… We may not get storm warnings and advanced notice for all of life’s happenings, but we do have the ability to prepare for things ahead of time. We start by having our focus on the right things everyday.
If we prepare our hearts, when the storms of life arise all the clutter is already cleared away. The things that can cause damage to our spirits can be taken care of daily so when tragedy comes, we don’t have to break or crumble. Spiritual preparedness comes first and foremost from the only truly safe refuge of the soul, Jesus Christ.
Here are a few steps we can take to prepare ourselves:
1. Guard your heart: Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”
Philippians 4:7 “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It’s like putting up hurricane shutters to keep the rubble away.
2. Forgive: Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
When we forgive others it’s like cleaning up our hearts. When we hold onto anger and unforgiveness, we hurt only ourselves. We need to clean it all out so it can’t hurt us any longer. The best part is that we are forgiven as well.
3. Reading the word of God: Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”
By reading the word of God, we are storing up food and water for when we need it. If we hide His word in our heart, we can draw from that foundation when times get tough. We can remember and rely on God’s promises no matter what the circumstances may be.
God has given us all we need to prepare for life’s storms. It’s our job to use those tools to walk through them and come out conquerors.
1 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue”