As most people on the Eastern seaboard know, hurricane Irene has been developing and then moving northward for several days now. In her wake she has been leaving destruction, cancellations, power outages and deaths. They have been broadcasting warnings to prepare for emergency survival for days now. In areas used to hurricanes and tornadoes I imagine everyone takes the warnings very seriously. In New Brunswick, where the storms are almost always downgraded and getting tired before they reach us, I think a lot of people talk about the upcoming bad weather but then don’t really do anything much to prepare. Boaters take precautions to ensure their boats are neither smashed against the docks, nor set loose from moorings. One of my friends on Face Book said we are supposed to be making 72 hour survival kits and practicing escape routes, but I only heard of one person actually stocking up on water and groceries.
This reminds me of the story of Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6-9). God had warned people that they needed to make changes, repent and live according to His laws. They didn’t. He warned of consequences. They ignored Him. Only Noah listened and took the directions God gave to prepare for surviving the storm. Everyone else went about their everyday lives, taking time out to gossip and laugh about Noah and the huge boat he was building in the middle of dry land. As you know, however, Noah and his family were the only ones to survive the flood of which everyone had been warned! Why didn’t the others listen? Why do most of us still not listen when we are given advance warning?
Clearly Irene is not a storm of the magnitude of the one which caused the Great Flood! It is not going to rain for forty days, and forty nights. If we are ignoring the warnings about this storm, though, what greater warnings may we likewise be ignoring? Are we so comfortable and complacent that we don’t realize the dangers our souls face in the midst of our modern societies? If you have been hit by hurricane Irene (or tropical storm) I pray that you are safe and unharmed and surrounded by your family. For those still in the path, take reasonable precautions and then maybe take some time to watch the rain and the trees swaying in the wind, remember that we have been warned, and pray that we are ready to hear and heed your warnings about upcoming storms in our lives so that we may, like Noah, be prepared and, with God’s help, survive!