There are times when you stand outside and begin to look around. Off in the distance you see dark clouds gathering, ominous and threatening and moving quickly. You might take time to size up how far you think the storm might be from your own location; who or what might be in the storm's path; the intensity of the storm; how long you have to prepare; and what the best course of action might be.
The important thing is that you pay attention to the signs and act accordingly. Too many times we look at the clouds and the wind and the related signs and think ... "I've seen this all before ... I've survived worse ... It'll blow over." Some of us even stand out in the face of the storm, almost daring it to come near us.
Then the day comes when that storm doesn't blow over; when you find yourself squarely in its path and you have no where to run. And your life is changed forever.
At this day and hour I sense a tremendous stirring. There seem to be many storms on the horizon. We face political storms, economic upheaval, international firestorms, and spiritual battles all around us. Many of you know this already; you have seen the storm clouds gathering, you have felt the cruel wind, you have heard warnings about getting ready for what is ahead. You have listened and are preparing to face whatever comes.
Still others have chosen to ignore the signs. These are the ones I pray will begin to notice the changes taking place around them. Not changes for the good, mind you, but changes that could have an increasingly negative impact on our families, our churches, our communities, our nation, and the world we live in.
The Bible tells us in several places that we must be vigilant; that we must prepare for these things. It tells us to heed the words of those who are calling out a warning.
Sometimes we look at the clouds building, turning the horizon bright orange and then red and - eventually - black as night.
At that point we have a choice as to whether or not we are going to prepare for the storm, or let it have its way. We must choose wisely.