Always on Guard

A stormy sky.

Our news channels had predicted a big storm last week with snow, sleet, freezing rain, frigid temperatures and strong winds. Yeah, we were going to be blessed with all of them.

The storm had barely begun when our power went out. As my husband felt his way through the house in the dark to find a flashlight, I knew immediately that we’d messed up. We hadn’t prepared like we had in the past. We’d let our guard down. 

We live out in the country, and we’ve had many times in the past when winter storms knocked our power out, often for days at a time due to fallen trees. Because we have a well for our water, that means we lose electricity and water because the water pump won’t work without power.

We had a really rough winter about two years ago. We had snow on our deck and in our yard for 84 days in a row. We were hit by snowstorm after snowstorm. For months, it seemed like we were either preparing for a storm or putting the emergency stuff up after the storm was over, often with just a day or two between.

After the first few bouts of snow, we fell into a routine. We’d fill up the gas tanks on our vehicles in case the power was out at the stations or in case the gas trucks couldn’t there get there for a while. We bought food that could be heated on the grill or camp stove.

We’d haul plenty of dry wood into the garage so we’d have it for the fireplaces in case the power went out. We filled pitchers and gallon containers with water so we’d have it to brush our teeth, flush the toilets and wash our hands.

Knowing that those nights without power often seemed like they lasted forever, we invested in reading lights for our books. We stocked up on batteries for the radio and flashlights, and got the candles and matches ready so we could get to them easily.     

I’d usually fix a couple of meals ahead, things that could be easily eaten when the power was out. I’d do all the laundry and wash all the dishes so we’d have plenty of clean stuff to last us for a few days if needed.

And of course we’d have to stock up on the truly important items like new books, chocolate and cupcakes. I mean, there’s nothing worse than being snowed in without books and junk food!

Despite the numerous winter storms that hit our area that year, we managed really well because the possibility of losing power was still fresh on our minds from the last storm.

And that’s where we’d run into a problem with this storm. We’d had two years where we had somewhat mild winters, times where we hadn’t had any power outages. And because of that, we had forgotten the importance of always being on guard when bad weather was in the forecast.

You know what? It’s the same for us as Christians. God is the power source of our lives. We need to stay plugged in closely to Himbut sometimes we let our guard down.

In times of ease, we forget that the storms of life will be coming again one day, and then when they do, we realize that we aren’t prepared.

Just like we stocked up on non-perishable food for our meals and gasoline for our vehicles, we need to stock up on His Word, piling it into our hearts. Just like we prepared the radio with new batteries so we could enjoy some music and hear the news, we need to prepare our hearts so we can listen to Him and talk with Him.

Just like we had the flashlights and candles ready to shine some light into our home on those cold dark nights, we need to memorize His Word, those sweet and precious promises that will shine a light of hope into our hearts when we’re buffeted by the storms of life.

Are you prepared for the next storm that will hit you? Don’t wait to get prepared until you’re sitting in the emergency room of a hospital waiting for news of a loved one.

Don’t wait until your heart is broken by your children, and you don’t know what to do to help them. Don’t wait until you get one of “those” phone calls that will change your life forever.

Determine now that you’re going to always be on guard spiritually. Because you don’t ever want to experience that sick feeling of knowing that you messed up because you weren’t prepared.   

Dear Father, help us to always be on guard spiritually and help us to remember that You are our power source. Prepare our hearts and lives so that we are primed and ready when the storms of life come our way.

Thank You for the warmth of your love, for the light of Your Word and for the assurance of knowing that the One who is in charge of the storms will walk through them with us. Amen. 

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