September 8, 2008
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:36
It's déjà vu all over again.
From my hotel room in Eugene, Oregon, I watched CNN cover the evacuation of New Orleans and other communities in the Gulf. Conservatively, it was estimated that 2,000,000 people fled Hurricane Gustav as it bore down upon them.
Thankfully, the disaster of a few years ago seems to have taught many people a lesson.
New Orleans learned that everyone should be ordered out; the Corps of Engineers learned barriers needed to be beefed up; the police and National Guard learned the streets can't be turned over to looters.
Most of all, people seemed to have learned they need to escape the destruction that was coming.
I give thanks for that. As my father used to say, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." The people of the Gulf aren't about to be caught unprepared a second time.
It occurs to me that the same kind of learning curve is not applicable to people when it comes to spiritual storms.
In Scripture, the Lord has told us that we need to be alert. We need to be ready to escape the tragedies and terrors of life that are most surely coming. The Bible repeatedly warns us that our life in this world is temporary, and the day will come when we will have to stand before the Lord who will judge us.
Sadly, many people disregard the Lord's counsel. Even though they have seen storms sweep down upon those who are close to them, they live as if they will, somehow, escape any such situation.
This is why I give thanks the people of the Gulf have learned to escape physical storms, and I pray they will do the same for spiritual tempests. Let us ask the Lord to send His Holy Spirit so all people may with faith in Jesus Christ be allowed to escape the spiritual gales that are bearing down upon them.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, when it comes to earthly storms, I give thanks many people have learned a lesson. Now, I ask that You will help them do the same for spiritual gales. Storms are coming for us all; may we, with Jesus by our side, survive those storms, In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries