When I was a young girl I belonged to the Girl Scouts. It was fun and I learned a lot. The motto was drilled into us and I still remember it well: BE PREPARED.
We have to prepare for a lot of things in daily life, as well as lifetime pursuits. A cook prepares meals. A student prepares (studies) for tests. A football team prepares for upcoming games. Every athlete prepares for his particular event. And preparation is not easy. It takes work and dedication and discipline. But that’s OK. The result is worth it, especially if you “hit a home run,” so to speak.
Being prepared means being ready for whatever comes. When that includes trouble and trials, we can’t suddenly be ready. We have to prepare ahead of time by building strength and character into our thinking and being. We have to know the promises of God in order to claim them. That takes reading the Bible and memorizing passages that will help us over the rough places.
There are probably some rough places ahead for all of us. Jesus assured us that persecution and hatred would be our lot when we stand up for Him in a hostile environment. “If the world hates you,” Jesus said to His disciples, “keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18, NIV). Many people in other parts of the world are suffering persecution today. It may be our turn one of these days. Are we ready? Are we prepared?
The apostles Paul and Peter both wrote about expecting attacks from the enemy. I Peter 5:8 says: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” That means we had better be on guard. When Paul was concluding his letter to the Ephesian believers, he challenged them this way: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11, NIV). And all of the necessary armor is described in the next few verses. How about reading those verses often? I don’t want to be caught off guard. Do you?
And most of all, I want to be prepared to meet the Lord. Receiving Jesus means becoming a child of God. Being a child of God means being with Him in heaven forever. Being with Christ means serving and worshipping Him in a place of perfect love and joy beyond imagination. Are you ready for that? Can you imagine anything better?
“Imagine” from the album “Singing On.”