They said it was coming. For days, meteorologists warned that a storm was heading up the east coast of the United States. Although the exact path of the storm could not be predicted, or precisely when it would arrive, the storm was on the way.

Because my house is on the beach in Delaware, I have seen my share of storms. After an earlier tropical storm this summer, I awoke to find my heavy gas grill had “danced” its’ way across the deck about thirty feet! So, this time I prepared. A couple of days before the predicted arrival, I brought the grill inside the screened porch, lowered the storm shutters, stacked all of the chairs and brought them inside, and strapped the cover to the hot tub. The day was hot and sunny. People were sitting on the beach enjoying the nice weather. I am sure I looked silly.

Sometime during the night, the wind picked up. Rain pelted the glass panes of the windows. The straps holding down the hot tub cover were barely hanging on. The ocean water surged angrily toward the shoreline. No beach-dwellers today, I thought with a smile. Then, I looked over to my neighbor’s house and saw three men struggling frantically to control their gas grill and bring it inside the house. The wind and rain blew the men and the grill all over the deck! They finally gave up and just left it before heading inside to safety.

How silly Noah must have looked to his neighbor’s as he built the gigantic boat on dry land. He tried to warn everyone that the rain and storm were coming but they refused to listen. We know the story did not end well except for Noah and those who heeded the warning and entered the boat. In the book of Matthew, Jesus is warning His listeners of another “storm” that is coming our way and as in the days of Noah, He is telling us to be prepared. One day in the future, a day we cannot predict on the calendar, Jesus is coming back to the earth to gather up His children and take them to safety. Then, those who remain will be swept up in God’s fury.

Friend, this is a hard truth, to be sure. The question is are you prepared? Jesus invites us to come into His shelter; will you join Him?