It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.
-- Luke 12:38
A recent Insurance Journal article makes the case that our nation spends an exorbitant amount of money responding to natural disasters, but comparatively little toward mitigating them. Indeed, the federal government has paid out about $1 trillion since 1983 on recovery and rebuilding efforts for hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other catastrophes.
Senior-level insurance executives say that we've now reached a fiscal tipping point on this matter and are now calling for a much greater emphasis on preparation. For example, they recommend better construction practices and stronger building materials so that homes and businesses can better withstand storm damage. Their logic is that we should invest now to avoid spending much more later.
It's a good argument. But no matter what preventive measures we take, disasters--whether natural or man-made--are bound to happen. They're often unpredictable. And there's no guarantee that we can actually save ourselves, our families or our belongings from the resulting devastation, even if we recognized the danger beforehand. Although that's true, there are warning signs of a much greater world-changing event that could strike in 100 years. Or it might happen tonight.
God promises us that one day, a Savior (Jesus) will return to right all the wrongs of this world, save and reward those who believe in Him, and send all others to an eternity of torment. No one knows the exact time or day of Christ's return. But many of the Bible's prophesies about the matter have already been fulfilled, such as the relatively recent one about the rebirth of Israel.
Yes, Jesus could return at any time. And whether that's in five minutes or five centuries, we must be prepared for His arrival. What's more, nobody knows when their own time on Earth will be over. Check the news on the Internet, television or in the paper, and you're bound to find stories about people killed suddenly in accidents, during crimes or by illness (such as a stroke or heart attack). As with the victims of the horrendous 2004 tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the end could (literally) come out of the blue.
So this brings us to the obvious question: Are you prepared to meet your Maker? Your answer has eternal consequences.
"So you also must be ready," Jesus warns us, "because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."