The roads are salted. The grocery shelves have been emptied of milk and bread. Movies have been rented. Children, parents and teachers are anxiously anticipating the first flakes of snow and what appears will result in school closings, work delays, and warnings to travel only if absolutely necessary. These are the kinds of things that happen in our part of the world when the National Weather Service issues a winter storm warning.
If predictions come true, by the time you are reading this we will possibly be under a two to four inch blanket of snow. Some of you reading this could be digging out from under 6-plus inches of the white stuff. This part of the world will come to a standstill. Conditions are right. Predictors are confident the snow will come. Because of the warnings, we have plenty of food and water and milk and bread and gadgets to entertain us. We are prepared.
When we hear the warnings, if we are wise we will make the appropriate preparations. We don't want to be caught off guard, or without, or stuck, or miss what is happening. So, we prepare.
After issuing a series of warnings, Jesus encourages those who were listening to make sure they are prepared for the right things. To illustrate, Jesus told a story about a rich man.
And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."'
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
"This is how it will be with those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God" (Luke 12:16-21 TNIV).
The man thought he was prepared for anything. He had been a shrewd businessman. He thought he had covered all his bases. Then, he realized his life was over.
When warnings come, we will prepare appropriately if we are wise. We will prepare appropriately not fearfully, not boastfully, but wisely. We will prepare for the right things. If it is snow, we will plan to stay safe and warm and off the roads. If it is a flood, we will get to high ground. If it is a storm, we will take shelter. If it is an illness, we will take the medicine. And if it is a warning about my life, I will take it to God. I will store up treasures that honor Him. I will give my life to God. I will be rich toward Him.
What are you preparing for? In a couple of days, maybe less, this winter storm will be history. If the Lord does not return, this life will continue. Either way, are you prepared to live your life for His glory? Are you prepared to honor Him and serve Him? When the time comes where the Lord says, "This very night your life will be demanded from you." Will you be ready? Are you prepared?