Hurricane by Patty LaRoche

Expecting to have no internet service, I am writing this a few days ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s projected arrival near where Dave and I are living in Florida. Yesterday I went to Costco to buy water…as did, it seems, a few thousand other people. Signs in the parking lot gave the bad news: “Out of Water.” So was Walmart. So were all of the grocery stores. Apparently, most people took this warning more seriously than I and shopped early. Today when I ran errands, I was amazed at how the lines at the gas stations circled the block, even though there was no regular gas to be had.

We are learning a lot about being prepared. As you can see from this picture, we installed the hurricane shutters necessary to stop flying debris. We were instructed to back our car into the garage door so the door doesn’t shake, thereby letting in wind and water which can lift the roof off the house. WHAT? We expect to lose electricity, but I must admit I’m not very creative when it comes to making meals without the use of a refrigerator, stove, microwave or toaster. Dave and I will fine-dine on Tostitos, bean dip and tuna fish.

I told Dave we should have rented on a top floor of a high rise, but yesterday the Weather Channel told those residents to evacuate because wet beach sand gets carried into stair wells and elevator shafts and makes it impossible to leave. Guess I’ll be happy to be where I am…three miles from the ocean in a two-story condominium where I can go upstairs if the bottom floor floods…unless, of course, that little roof-lift thing happens.

Good friends have called and texted, offering prayers and warning us to evacuate. Advice from them has included putting our important papers in waterproof containers, filling our bathtub with water and our washing machine with ice. We need to keep our devices charged (grateful for car phone chargers, when we lose electricity).

All of this involves preparation, and as I watch people scurrying around as the clock ticks away, there is an urgency like I have never seen. Living in the Midwest our concern is tornadoes, but we are not given a few days (more like minutes) to get ready. Let’s face it. Tornadoes or hurricanes, when we realize our lives are at stake, we get serious with our planning.

As we should. Still, there is a more critical call for us to be ready. 1 Thes. 4:16-18: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Talk about an evacuation! A day is coming when no amount of scurrying can help and our eternal destiny will be set, depending on how we have prepared by knowing Jesus and glorifying God. In that split second when Jesus returns, I wonder how many will wish they would have taken his message more seriously when they had a chance.

Maybe this should be a warning for all of us.

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