Have a plan

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind, no pun intended. As I
planned to sit down and work on sermons, schedule some visits, and prepare
for some upcoming church meetings, my mind was preoccupied with the
hurricane approaching the east coast of the United States. We have several
friends, many of them pastors and staff members, who live in the areas that
were in the path of the storm. As former residents of South Louisiana, we
know firsthand what it’s like to prepare for the worst and pray for the
best as hurricanes and tropical storms approach. Even though this storm
wouldn’t directly impact us, I couldn’t concentrate knowing so many
people‘s lives were about to be changed forever. Finally I stopped to pray
and asked God to take care of the people on the east coast and protect
them. After a few minutes of talking the Lord, I went back to my work
knowing that He was in control and able to meet the needs of those who may
endure some hardships as a result of the storm.

Hurricanes, like many events in our lives, are unpredictable. I remember
watching the meteorologists for a week or two predict where a storm would
make landfall. Every weather forecaster seemed to have their own idea on
whether a tropical depression would strengthen into a hurricane, where the
storm would make landfall, the wind speed, and the amount of rain expected.

As many of you are aware, I’ve lived in the south most of my life. I was
raised in Columbia, Mississippi and lived for a few years in Hattiesburg
and even a few months in Mobile, Alabama. For a dozen years, my family
called south Louisiana our home. I’ve been through my share of tropical
storms and hurricanes. I’ve even provided radio and TV news coverage for a
few of them back in my days as a reporter. One thing I have learned is
that the best way to survive a major storm is to have a plan. Due mostly
to the foresight of my wife, we were always stocked with practically
everything we needed to remain secure and comfortable when the lights went
out. We had fuel, water, food, flashlights, batteries and all of the
necessities. I was always amazed at how many people waited until the last
minute to look for gas or shop for groceries only to discover there was
none to be found. TV stations interviewed some of these people and most of
them said they would start planning earlier next time.

As important as it is to plan for natural disasters, I’m reminded that
it’s even more important to plan for eternity. I pray we all know and
confess Christ as our Lord and believe His death on the cross paid the
penalty for our sins. When we ask Him to forgive us, we’re taking an
important step to plan where we will spend eternity. God also said in
Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a plan for each of us. His plan is a good plan
that leads to blessings and hope. I pray that’s one plan we’ve all put
into action!