Are You Prepared?
Florida residents are no strangers to hurricanes. Just a quick glance at the historical list dating back to the late 1700’s, one quickly realizes that the Panhandle has had more than its fair share of destructive storms. Everyone in this area certainly still remembers the devastating effects of Hurricane Ivan. Some can remember Camille and even further back. The mere mention of the names Andrew, Katrina, Harvey, Florence, and now Michael, are enough to bring up tears and strong emotions as those names are now associated with pain, trauma, and loss.
Improving for Preparations
Did you know hurricanes weren’t named before 1953? Until then, a storm was referred to only by the year in which it had occurred. In 1979 the World Meteorological Organization started using short and easily remembered names for storms in the Atlantic. The intention was to reduce confusion in communications when two or more storms occurred at the same time. Without the names, radio stations had often created panic and chaos when broadcasting storm advisories that might be for an entirely different storm located hundreds of miles away. Thus, a list of male and female names was adopted. If a storm becomes deadly or so costly that any future use of its name for a different storm would be inappropriate, then the name is retired from the list. Since the practice began, there have been 78 Atlantic tropical storm names retired, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Research and technology have greatly improved our warning systems and communications networks. It would be impossible to calculate how many lives have been saved over the years thanks to all of these improvements. This is evidenced by the fact that most Floridians will now quickly jump to the call to prepare for a storm. Everyone shows concern for everyone else. A common conversation that occurs among neighbors and even among strangers revolves around a question of concern, “Are you prepared for the storm?” Advice is then freely given and openly welcomed on what one needs to purchase, on how one can safeguard a home, or where one might seek refuge. Most everyone is concerned about not only their own safety, but the safety of others! What a blessing!

The Spiritual Application
Oh how I wish people had the same level of concern for spiritual matters! When all is said and done, property damage by a hurricane can easily be repaired or replaced. But the destruction of a soul is a much greater loss. For many people, there is a day coming that will be far worse than any hurricane. It’s a day described as having “flaming fire, punishment, and everlasting destruction.” It also has been given a name, it is called Judgment Day (Matthew 12:36; 2 Peter 3:7). Just like hurricanes, there are advance warnings and advisories about this impending disaster (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10; Revelation 20:12-15). Advice is readily available on how one can prepare and be saved from it, (Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 16:16). There will be no excuses for “riding out the storm” or “hunkering down” because everyone will either face the fury, or escape it, depending on how they have prepared (Romans 14:11).

Hurricanes will continue to come and they will continue to be just as deadly and destructive. We must always be prepared. Judgment Day is still coming and it’s going to be very destructive to some. We must be just as prepared. Are you prepared for the next storm? More importantly, are you prepared for Judgment Day?