Luke 21:25-28 - (Jesus said) "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
For almost two days, it was the top story in the country.
The story swirled around and began with a Hawaiian employee who pressed the wrong button and activated Hawaii's Emergency Alert System. When that button was pushed, almost immediately the cell phones of every Hawaiian lit up and told them a missile attack was imminent. Lest there be any confusion, the alert added and underscored with "This is not a drill."
Well, it wasn't a drill; it was a mistake -- a mistake which saw the button-pusher being reassigned.
The reaction to the system's failure was pretty strong.
• A Hawaiian senator said, "This system failed miserably, and we need to start over."
• An FCC commissioner tweeted, "Emergency alerts are meant to keep us and our families safe, not to create false panic. We must investigate, and we must do better."
Now it is a good thing for those in authority to inspect, correct, and improve things when they go wrong. Looking to the future, with so many lives at stake, it would be a shame to see the same error repeated again and again. These leaders must do all they can to restore faith in a system which has some serious flaws.
Me, I'm not looking to the future. I'm looking to the past. More specifically, I'm wondering what went through the minds of these people when they got the word that death might be imminent. Indeed, a missile out of North Korea could hit Hawaii in 20 minutes.
With that kind of timetable, the options are extremely limited.
With everybody grabbing their car keys and heading for a non-strategic location, the roads are going to be gridlocked. Those who have family or friends are going to get on their phones to make sure everybody is aware of the incoming missile.
So, what do you do with those 20 minutes? I thought about it and came up with my list:
1. Confess my sins and rejoice in the forgiveness I already have because of the Savior.
2. Say a prayer for the many who have no Redeemer to comfort them.
3. If I could, express my apologies to and thanks for my wife.
4. Follow the Savior's advice and straighten up, raise my head, and rejoice because the result of the Savior's work is reaching completion.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that my earthly end will not be final. Because of Jesus, I have been given forgiveness and an assurance that my eternity will be with my Savior and all who have been called to faith. While there is time, may the unbelievers of the world be reached, turned, and become Your redeemed children. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Poly Davis Doig for Newser on January 14, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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