Yesterday I wrote about being prepared. And based on the best available forecasts, we southerners were prepared. People in cities that were supposed to get a dusting of snow went on to work and school. Those of us who were supposed to bear the brunt of the storm cancelled school, came home from work early, hunkered down with chili or vegetable soup on the stove.
I’m no meteorologist, so I can’t scientifically explain what happened. The short version is that the snow and freeze line moved way north and caught cities like Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Atlanta with weather they weren’t expecting – AT ALL. Panic ensued. The snowstorm of 1982 all over again (see my previous post The Great Ice Storm of 1982). People stuck in their cars, at school, at work. Trying to get to your children. Trying to get home. Desperate for help, full of anxiety and worry.
Bubba Bussey of The Rick & Bubba Show was stuck at work last night with a couple of others. They ran a live show until 10:00 p.m. providing helpful information to those stuck in their cars (did you know your gas will last a couple of days if you turn your car on for 10 minutes, off for 20 and repeat?), information on shelters and the schools with children safely having sleepovers. Bubba provided a calm, encouraging voice in the middle of Snowmageddon.
One of the last things Bubba said near the end of the evening show was that we are supposed to give thanks to God in all situations even though that is very hard to do sometimes. And I’ve read countless stories of those who thanked God for their loved ones making it home. Thanked Him for a full tank of gas. For the truck driver who had food & water and shared it with other drivers. For friends of friends who took in children and spouses. For random stores who offered hot coffee and a place to warm up. For school cafeteria food for dinner (now that would probably be a bit of a stretch, but cafeteria food beats no food any day I suppose).
Bubba also said sometimes God lets things happen so that we have nowhere else to turn. If I had been one of those mothers stuck in traffic for hours trying to get my babies, low on gas, no food or blankets in her car I would have prayed – A LOT. But I wonder how many people spent their time being angry, blaming the meteorologists, the schools – surely even blaming God – instead of seeking His protection, His mercy, His comfort?
So as I wrote yesterday, don’t wait to get prepared, because if you think being unprepared in #gridlock2014 was bad that will pale unmercifully to being unprepared when Jesus returns. Start building a relationship with Jesus today so that when bad things do happen you turn to Him first, giving Him thanks in all situations. “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Join me in praying for a thaw, for children and loved ones to make it home, for the workers doing their best to clean the roadways. Pray first, pray often.