LESSONS FROM TORNADO ALLEY
The area where we live in Missouri (USA) is commonly known as ‘Tornado Alley’.
During our years of living in Africa we were accustomed to some pretty fierce tropical thunder storms; having experienced them from childhood into adulthood I did not fear them. I knew to respect them, especially the deadly lightning strikes but an African thunderstorm pales in comparison to “riding out” a violent thunderstorm with imbedded tornadoes! These super cell storms sweep across Tornado Alley with such velocity that very few structures survive a direct hit; especially if it is an F-5 tornado.
An F-5 tornado has winds twisting at speeds reaching well over 261 mph. They cause total catastrophic damage with few, if any structures left standing. Cars, siding, bricks and two by four wooden house structures become lethal flying missiles, literally penetrating any structure in their path.
We have had several F-5 tornadoes totally obliterate towns in our area and the carnage they leave behind can only be fully comprehended as one walks through the rubble of what used to be homes, businesses, schools and hospitals. The best way to truly survive these cataclysmic storms is to have an underground re-enforced Tornado shelter. Unfortunately many of us living in this area do not have these safe shelters as they are expensive to install.
Last night we were vaulted out of a deep sleep by the chilling wail of the tornado siren which we could barely hear due to the screeching wind that was driving rain against our outside walls with such velocity that it sounded like a machine gun peppering our home. The sirens had barely gone off when our phone rang and it was our very concerned daughter telling us to turn our TV on and prepare to take cover, as there had been a tornado sighted several miles from our sub-division and tracking in our direction.
We got up, turned the TV on and our local station was tracking the storm giving street names which were in its path. Quickly putting on our sweats, we sat on our bed listening to the storm rage. Lightning strikes were eerily lighting up the black swirling clouds, pelting rain was raking the house and trees were being buffeted by the ferocious wind. Our “safe place” in our home is our guest bathroom which is in the middle of the house; which will only give us a “measure” of protection from flying debris; provided our home did not get a direct hit. We were ready to grab blankets and pillows to hunker down in the bathroom; covering ourselves for protection; once the local weather broadcasters started to pinpoint the tornadic storm “knocking at our door”!
We were prepared for the worst but praying for God’s hand of protection.
Once the threat was passed we were able to crawl back into bed with thankful hearts while listening to the remnants of the storm move east. I began to muse that there was a spiritual lesson that we all can learn from riding out one of these deadly storms. I got thinking that I could see a comparison with the events of the night to the events taking place in the world today which point to the soon return of our Lord!
Allow me to use my spiritual imagination to press my points home!
FIRST BE EXPECTING:
Living in Tornado Alley means we can expect terrifying storms.
This reminds me that we are living in what the scripture refers to as the “Last Days” and we can expect to see escalating terror exploding world-wide.
Evil will abound as we have never experienced before; corrupt governments will pillage their citizens; preachers will teach false doctrines lulling their congregations into an apathetic sleep; men and women will be lovers of immoral pleasures rather than lovers of a righteous walk with God.
Jesus taught this in Matthew 24:37-39 (NKJV) “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Not a pretty picture I fear; but then getting pulverized by a tornado isn’t a pretty picture either! So we need to be expecting!
SECONDLY – BE LISTENING:
The tornado siren is the warning to take cover. Added to that the family has a plan –whichever member hears the sirens first they are to call and check on each other!
During the last days the Apostle Paul teaches that in the ranks of the church there will be many who have become deaf to the voice of the Spirit warning of the dangers to come.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
Wow! What a descriptive picture of the church of today!
So often, we mothers have used the following phrase when our children were being disobedient; “Do you have your LISTENING ears on”?
Friends, our ears NEED TO BE LISTENING for the warning cry of the voice of our soon coming Lord!
THIRDLY – BE PREPARED:
The time for preparing to survive a tornado is NOT a few minutes before it hits! You need to be prepared well in advance of what steps you will take to protect yourself and your family.
Jesus taught a parable about the ten virgins that clearly shows being prepared for His Coming in Matthew 25:1-13. Five were wisely prepared and five were foolish enough to not be prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom. The result was that when the call went out that the Bridegroom had arrived only the wise virgins were ready with their lamps trimmed. The five foolish virgins were denied access to the presence of the Bridegroom.
The “signs of the times” are all around us my friends – we must be prepared in advance; be ready and waiting for the trumpet call! Putting on the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18) will prepare the Child of God to stand against the wiles of the devil whose sole agenda is to trick us into complacency and unbelief!
FINALLY – BE FEARLESS:
Fear will have a paralyzing effect on one’s clarity of thought when you have to ride out a tornadic storm. It will cause you to make rash decisions that could cost you your life.
Fear of life’s circumstances has no place in the heart of a Child of God for His Word assures us time and time again that He has sheltered us from the calamity that rages around us (Psalm 91) and He has already prepared a place for those who remain faithful.
I love the comforting words of the following passage of scripture:
Luke 21:25-28 (NKJV) “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
My friends OUR REDEMPTION IS NEARER THAN WE THINK!
REJOICE FOR THE KING IS COMING!