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NATE IS ON THE WAY
TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT

This morning on a local news program, I watched a compilation of reports on how people were preparing for the latest tropical storm. It will reach north from its American landfall all the way into Georgia and Tennessee. One reporter spoke with a man living on the coast who was buying plywood. He said he was originally from Kentucky, but had neighbors who’d been through hurricanes and storms, so he was taking his cues from them. Another report came from a big-box grocery store. A number of people were buying water, preparing for possible problems. One woman’s comment was from a Psalm, and the report made it seem as though she was not preparing for the storm at all.

You rule the raging of the sea;
when its waves rise, you still them.
—Psalm 89:9

At first I thought the woman’s response a bit arrogant. As if she were saying no harm could come to her. I thought,  “and what if your are not fully protected?” I thought of a response that comes from Daniel 3: “. . .our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” It seemed to me that one could say something like, “I trust it the L-RD, the G-D of Israel, and even if there are problems, I will still trust in Him.”

But the situation is different. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t exactly have a choice in the matter whether or not they were going to be tossed into the king’s furnace. When faced with a potential calamity, one that is many hours away, we have some chooses we can make. However, it is admirable that the woman said she trusts in G-D. And to be fair to the woman, I have no clue whether or not she expounded upon that trust, qualified it in any way. When editors take pieces of a report, they cut and cut and leave only what they want to leave.

Let me make a qualified guess that the editor wasn’t a believer. The report broadcast included a teaser ad on what was ahead on the newscast, and included “some are looking to a higher power to protect them.” That said, when we, as Christians speak, we can throw some pearls of wisdom before swine, if we are not careful. We mean well. We want to show how we believe in the G-D of Israel. We want to offer testimony to the world of our faith. But. . .

Now what if you’re faced with a potentially devastating storm coming through the area in which you live? What are you going to do if you have a day or so before it is due?

In Genesis, there are a number of chapters that deal with Joseph, son of Jacob. Through the hand of G-D acting upon Joseph, he becomes very powerful in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. And when Pharaoh has an odd dream, he consults Joseph. Joseph consults G-D. And G-D warn of a coming famine. Pharaoh is told, and Joseph is asked what can be done. G-D has prepared Joseph, and he tells Pharaoh that the whole country will need to prepare in advance for the famine. Seven years of bounty are stored to carry the people through seven bad years of drought, and potential famine. Joseph, a prepper.

Some years ago, in a conversation with a neighbor about a book we’d both recently read, he told me that if anything happened, he’d be very hungry.

“We don’t keep any food in the house,” he said. “We get what we need on a daily basis.”

That’s why, a couple days before Hurricane Irma was due in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, the local CostCo store had lines of people waiting when the store opened. One of the store employees told me that the crowd immediately went for the water isle. CostCo employees were bringing pallets down from the store’s tall racks throughout the day to accommodate customers.

While I was living up in Northern California, many years ago, we’d get winter stow storms that closed main highways. Sometimes the highway would be closed for several days. Locals always kept well-stocked pantries. But things like bread and milk were stripped from the grocery store within hours of the storm’s approach. Stocking up was, and still is, the prudent thing to do.

Every prudent man acts with knowledge.
—Proverbs 13:16

We are not without faith if we act prudently. We are prudent when we do what we can do, what we are able to do. That doesn’t mean we act on our own, however. As with Joseph in Egypt, we seek the L-RD as to what needs to be done. Then we follow through. We seek the L-RD, we make adequate preparations, and we pray we won’t need them. But if the worst comes our way, we are prepared by G-D to deal with it.

There’s another consideration. Sometimes it’s not just about us. We have neighbors, friends, who may not be able to prepare adequately for an impending storm. When we are prepared, we are able then to extend ourselves to help others. We can share what we have with others. What a great way to show our Christian values to others by being available to people in spiritual as well as physical support. We keep one foot planted in spiritual realms, in our relationship with G-D through His Son Y’shuaJesus, by the power of His Spirit. We have one foot firmly planted on Earth, in the physical realm, as Ambassadors of Messiah. In a world that is becoming dimly light, we carry a flashlight, a torch, to light the way for others. We can do that spiritually; we can do that physically too.

On a recent trip across the country, there were a number of routes that took me through areas without roadside services. I noticed signs that read said “Gas next exit. Next service 100 miles.” If my gas gauge reads a quarter of a tank, and I am able to stop, should I pass by without stopping? Or is it prudent to top of the tank just in case? I get pretty excessive, actually. I stop at the half-tank reading on the gauge. I remember once out on Interstate 80 when all traffic was stopped for many hours while a wreck was cleared from the highway. It was winter. It meant running engine just to keep warm. Running an engine, even idling, means using gasoline—or in that case diesel. Expect the unexpected, is a well-worn cliché that is quite useful as a guide while traveling. It’s also good advice in daily affairs.