The value of preparation cannot be overstated. The simple fact is that storms are going to come to each life. And the truth of that fact is not eliminated simply because someone is born again. Every one of us will feel the lash of the wind and the pelting of life’s raindrops at times. When those moments come, there is no time to ready ourselves for the onslaught. We either have or haven’t made the proper preparations in advance.
The Value of Preparation: A Farmer’s Story
On the Northern Atlantic Coast of the United States, a farmer was seeking to hire a farm hand. His was not exactly prime farming ground. When the plow bit in, turning the soil over row by row, he did not get the rich, black soil of the plains. Instead, he knew he would have to eke out a living from rocky, shallow soil by working from “can see to can’t see” (sunup to sundown).
Besides the soil, the weather was savage at times. Harsh Atlantic storms would rage ashore. The infamous nor’easters could in an hour tear apart the work of weeks. Accordingly, the old farmer, who was nearly as hard and as seasoned as the land itself, could rarely find hired help.
I can sleep when the wind blows.
At last, a short, thin man, well past middle age, applied for the job. “Are you a good hand?” the farmer asked. “Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” the candidate replied. The farmer was somewhat confused by this response, but his desperation compelled him to offer the job to the man.
A Storm Is Coming
The man worked well. He busied himself daily around the property to the point that the farmer was satisfied with his work. Then one night the wind began to howl loudly as it came rushing in from offshore. The farmer jumped out of bed, grabbed a lantern, and rushed to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming. Tie things down before they all blow away.” The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No, sir. I told you. I can sleep when the wind blows.”
The farmer was furious but lacked the time to fire him on the spot. He ran out to prepare for the storm, only to find to his amazement, that all was well. The haystacks were covered with tarps. The cows were in the barn. The chickens were in the coops. The doors were barred. The shutters were in place. Everything was secure. The farmer then understood what the man meant, so he went to bed as well to sleep while the wind blew.
What Did Jesus Say about Being Prepared?
Jesus said it this way: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house;
[The house] fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24–27).
Both men endured similar circumstances. The storms were identical. The rains, the winds, and the waves were the same. The preparation, however, was different.
One built his life with thoughts only of today. (Who wouldn’t like a seaside home?) The sand requires much less effort to prepare. One can simply rake it smooth and be done with it, whereas the stone requires long hours of shaping to make it ready for the building process.Tune up your prayer life...Do it before the first raindrop falls. Click To Tweet
Secure in Moments of Crisis
The paramount difference between the raked sand and the shaped stone is not so readily apparent until the wind begins to howl and the floods begin to rise. Then one can quickly understand the return on the preparation investment. The one who has taken the path of least resistance and expended the least strength suffers the greatest fall. The one who invested the hours, the sweat, and the labor in the days of sunshine is the one who can rest secure in the moment of crisis. He is the one who can sleep when the wind blows.
Stack some worship. Repair the caulking of righteous living. Pay the price of commitment.
Each year many of us will make preparations for the inevitable winter storms. We will stack firewood, repair caulk around windows, purchase chemical treatment for driveways, tune up the snow blower, and so on. We will do these things when snow is still weeks if not months away. Why? Because we cannot wait until the flakes are piling up to get ready.
Over the same few months, we should surely be at least as diligent about readying our lives for spiritual storms. Stack some worship. Repair the caulking of righteous living. Pay the price of commitment. Tune up your prayer life. Do it before the first raindrop falls.
Why? So you can sleep when the wind blows.
Resources and Links
A version of this content originally appeared in Pentecostal Life. To see more content or subscribe, visit https://www.pentecostallife.com/.