Heed The Warning

Revelation 3:10 – Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (NIV)

It seems that this winter has brought storms and weather in severity that some places haven't seen before, or for many years. The Great Lakes in North America contain one-fifth of the world's fresh water. For the first time in decades, ice covers most of the lakes. On January 1st, snow covered 67% of the continental United States, breaking previous records, according to AccuWeather.

As we travel the 24-hour drive back to Ontario from Florida, we are always careful to listen to weather reports. This January, the Polar Vortex came barrelling down, so we adjusted our travel by one day, thinking that this would give the weather a day to move through. As our journey progressed, it soon became apparent that we were travelling in and through it, as temperatures began to plummet in Georgia. We began to see wet roads turning to ice and then snow as we entered Tennessee, and it continued to be a challenging drive the rest of the way home.

We stopped an extra night along the way due to the weather, and as we began our final drive home, it became bitterly cold — windy but sunny. At lunchtime, we stopped for gas after having travelled for the morning. As I began to put the gas in, I couldn't believe how cold and windy it was, and I positioned myself to block the wind. As I returned from paying, my hands began to hurt, and the fingers on my left hand were burning. In such a short time, I had gotten frostbite, and to this day, I need to protect my hands when going out, or else I feel pain, especially in the baby finger.

All this happened because I didn't heed the warnings on the radio talking about the wind chill factor that day. Yes, I heard them, but for some reason, I felt that they didn't apply to me. My gloves were within my reach in the van, but I didn't take them.

Jesus also gave us warnings about natural disasters in the last days, which we need to heed:

Luke 21:10-12 – Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven." (NIV)

Matthew 24:38-39 – For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (NIV)

We do not know the day of Christ's return, but from the Bible we can and do know that we are closer to His coming and that the earth will experience such serious events as wars, floods, famines, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and severe storms. I believe that we need to heed the warnings about weather and other earthly events not only in a physical sense, but also as warnings from a spiritual point of view. Let's be careful that we don't treat these events as simply coincidences, since the Bible clearly tells us to be ready.

1 Peter 4:7 – The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we have read the end of the Book, and we know what is to come. Give us direction to help those who are lost. Help us to see with spiritual eyes what is before us, and not just to wait for the hour to come, but to be active in our faith. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Julie Bowles