So, Hurricane Hermine made landfall here in Florida the other day. It was the first storm to hit our state in 11 years. I’ve experienced quite a few hurricanes in my 34 years as a Floridian. The largest was Hurricane Andrew in 1992 which swept across south Florida leaving a path of destruction that destroyed our house and killed 65 people. We’ve also had damage during Opal (1995) and Ivan (2004) and experienced many other storms along the way. When you live in Florida, you learn to adjust to having hurricanes and you know to be prepared.
But not everyone takes the precautions necessary to be ready for these storms. Some scoff at the idea that the storm will be bad. Some remember previous storms and feel confident that they’ll be fine for the next one. Others are just procrastinators, waiting till the last minute to buy supplies or to evacuate. I still have a hard time understanding why people are so unprepared. We’ve seen plenty of news coverage showing the widespread damage a hurricane can cause and yet people always seem to be caught off guard when a major storm arrives.
We see a perfect example of this in the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew chapter 25. Jesus is speaking here about the kingdom of heaven and how he will be returning for us as a bridegroom returns for his bride. In the story, five of the virgins are foolish and five are wise. The foolish ones were not prepared but the wise virgins were ready and anxiously awaiting the return of their groom (Matthew 25:2-4). While the five foolish virgins were away finally starting to prepare, the bridegroom returned and they were not there to receive him and therefore lost out on the celebration (Matthew 25:10). This story is meant to remind us to always be prepared for Jesus’ return because we do not know when he will come (Acts 1:6-7).
Many people lost their lives in storms like Hurricane Andrew, Opal, and Katrina because they didn’t heed the warnings. And today, many will be caught off guard at the return of Jesus. People will be going about their business, focused on the trivial things of this life (Matthew 24:38) when Jesus returns like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). And we’ve been told of his return ahead of time (Acts 1:10-11). We have no excuse for not being prepared.
So I ask, are you ready? Have you stored up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20-21) anxiously awaiting for the return of your King? If so, rejoice! For it will be a joyous reunion indeed!