Each time I go on a trip, whether it’s for work, missions or vacation, I like to sit down and plan things out. I make sure I have packed everything I need, I check in for my flight 24 hours in advance, I get to the airport well in advance, I try not to check a bag and I like to pick my seat on the plane with easy access to the exit. I like to make sure I’m prepared so that my traveling experience is as easy as possible. It bothers me when others haven’t prepared and are in a state of panic. They have to ask everyone else who did plan and prepare to make exceptions for them.
No matter what changes we face in life, there’s usually a period of time before it where we are to prepare. God gives us time to prepare for what’s next, but many of us use that time to take a breather instead of preparing. Life becomes more like an emotional roller coaster when that happens. It’s feels like we get hit with one storm after another with no chance to breathe. The truth is that there is time to breathe between them and those are the times when we’re to prepare for the next one.
I’m in a time of preparation now. God spoke to me over a year ago and just said, “Prepare.” I asked, “Prepare for what?” All I heard back was, “Prepare.” I thought, “At least Noah knew what he was preparing for. David knew he was heading to a battlefield when he prepared. Jacob knew he was about to meet his brother when he prepared. Why can’t I know what’s coming?” I struggled with how to prepare for a while. Then I started think how I could prepare for whatever. I thought of the parable Jesus told of the wise man and the foolish man. Only one prepared for the rains.
If you’re unsure how you need to prepare for what’s coming next in your life, you can’t go wrong with building a strong foundation that will stand no matter what life throws at you. You build a good foundation by putting God’s word in your heart and mind. You take time to go beyond reading it, and find ways to understand it. You spend time searching through it for pearls of wisdom versus reading a chapter and closing it until the next day. You spend time thinking about a particular verse, truth or story for hours until you get different insight into it. You ask others what they see in it as well.
Preparation isn’t something you have to do alone. It’s just something you have to do in advance of whatever comes. Ephesians 6 tells us to have our feet shod with the preparation of the a Gospel of peace so we can be sure footed when the enemy comes. If you haven’t prepared, you’ll lose your footing when under attack. You’ll slip and fall when temptation comes. But if you’ve prepared, you won’t be knocked off your game. Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Do what matters now so you’ll be strong when changes come.