by Major Paula Pyle
Countries throughout the world are susceptible to disasters. Catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes can lead to injury, loss of life, property damage, social and economic disruption and environmental degradation. All disasters, whether natural or manmade, have the potential to severely impact a country’s infrastructure and disrupt the normal patterns of life.
Most of the time, disasters are preceded by advance warnings that allow people to plan, prepare and be protected. These warnings give people time to gather basic supplies such food, water and toiletries, while ensuring buildings are in repair or boarded up to stand against the strong winds and floods. Those who don’t heed the warnings can be caught off guard and more likely suffer tremendous loss.
Similarly, God provides us with advance warnings to weather the storms of life. If we leave Him out of our plans, our lives can result in disaster. God reminds us not to become complacent in life, and not to take our possessions and relationships for granted; otherwise, we can lose them. Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this.” Another applicable verse is 1 Corinthians 10:12, which says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
God challenges us to be careful that spiritual disasters don’t come upon us and to be ready for Christ’s return. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
The following acrostic reminds us how to prepare for natural disasters and those disasters that can occur in our personal lives:
Develop an emergency plan.
Invoke prayer and depend on God.
Stay tuned to media and God’s Holy Spirit.
Acknowledge that our strength is in God.
Stock up on items, and the Fruit of the Spirit.
Take physical and spiritual rest.
Embrace opportunities for growth.
Reach out and help others.