THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING PREPARED
On Wednesday, August 27, 2008, the Island of Jamaica began to feel the effects of Tropical Storm Gustav. For a least a week before the storm arrived, the meteorologist, the Office of Disaster Preparedness, the media and many others urged the citizens of this country to prepare for this storm. Of course, many people took the warnings lightly because, after all, this was not even a hurricane; it was only a tropical storm. Depending on where you were located on the Island the forecasted effects which were slated to begin on Wednesday evening were not felt in many areas of the country until Thursday. This meant it was business as usual for many people. They did not believe that a storm was coming. People actually voiced this opinion.
Guess what; the storm came! What havoc it wrecked in many areas of the country. Bridges toppled, roads were demolished, and houses fell into swollen rivers which had overrun their banks and the land beneath them slid away; foundation and all. Now in some cases we are not speaking of wooden houses only, but many houses were two-storied concrete structures. The tragedy of this all was the lives that were lost in this storm.
Many did not believe the warnings and some got into vehicles which became stranded in water so high that the vehicles were washed away. Some were able to get out safely and others, we are not sure about. Some did not go shopping to buy enough food to tide them over through the storm. Some did not shop because they had no funds. Others, because they took the warning lightly. Some did not prepare any additional water, knowing that very often once the electricity goes out, then the water goes too. Either because the systems have to be shut down because of the damage they incur throughout the storm or because there is no electricity to run the pumps. Some did not stock up on kerosene oil or candles or matches. Basically no preparation was made for the storm.
Another storm is coming! One greater than the one we just experienced. This will not, however, be a storm of wind and water but a storm of fire. Hear the words of
Mal 4:1 “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
Mal 3:1 “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Just as how the relevant authorities gave out warnings about the coming of the storm, the Lord continues to warn us of His coming. He told us in Mal 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:”
Elijah has come! He has come and restored to Israel all that was taken from us by our slave masters. Hear the words of Mat 17:11 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” So the saints are preparing to meet Him when He returns. How are your preparations going?