If anyone had predicted a year ago that a group page on Facebook would birth a revolution that has rewritten the history of the Middle East, most of us would have taken it with rolled eyes and a pinch of salt. Who would have imagined Colonel Gaddafi–a fearless man who defied anything in his way—caught shirtless, bleeding, beaten, dragged in the dust and lifeless on video? Or that Osama bin Laden–who caught America unaware on September 11, 2001—would be caught unaware himself 10 years later by the same Americans, then killed on the spot and tossed into the sea in the space of hours?
The common thread is that these men’s pasts paved the path that their present ended on. They were caught unprepared at a time when they should have been more than prepared.
How many events caught us by surprise during the year 2011? How many of them dealt a painful blow? What of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that slipped through our fingers like melted butter? If we took the time and effort to be ready, it could have been a different story, couldn’t it?
Some of you might be wondering, “How do I prepare myself when I don’t have what it takes to prepare myself?” One thing is for sure–when there is a will, there is a way. If you can see it, you can have it by writing it down, taking it to the Lord, acquiring the necessary skills, securing a plan to execute it, reading about people that have walked the same path and, if possible, getting an actual mentor. After you have done all you know to do, stand with great expectation on the promises of God.
Remember that the children of Israel got Manna from heaven by going out to gather it at a certain time each day. It would not have cost the Lord anything for them to wake up in the morning, lie in bed, and stretch out their hands to receive Manna from the sky. But it was not so. The Lord did His part by raining it down, and they did their part by picking it up. The same thing applies to you and me: If we do our part and do it well, when the Lord shows up we will get more than we anticipated.
Growing up, I watched my mother record everyone on her cassette player. It pleased her to play back the prayer sessions, the choruses we sang, the music she loved, the good times with her friends, and the interviews she had with everybody. For the longest, we could not fathom the rationale behind the tall piles of her personally recorded cassette tapes that were prepared with so much effort and years later occupied unnecessary space on a shelf in her bedroom. Or so it seemed.
At the age of 66, my mother suffered a stroke that robbed her of her lifestyle, immobilizing most of the right side of her body. My brother, sister, and I got her from her home in Nigeria and took turns in looking after her in our respective homes in the United States. She was no longer the bubbling action-packed mother we used to know. Nothing excited her anymore.
On a trip abroad, I brought back a suitcase full of my mother’s cassette tapes. I can never forget the way her eyes lit up with the joy of a little girl at Christmas when I returned home and unzipped the bag with her beloved tapes. She spent the next four years listening to the tapes with renewed enthusiasm. Many times, she would hold her left hand in the air and sway with her left side to her memories of yesteryear.
It was three years after my mother’s death that I caught the revelation behind her cassette tapes. What she was recording for many years was not for that point in time but for a time in her future when she would need them the most. Unbeknownst to all of us, she had been preparing for tomorrow from day one.
As we enter the year 2012, we need to maintain a lifestyle of preparedness. If Joseph had not been mentally prepared to leave the jail at the appointed time, do you think he could have handled waking up as a prisoner and going to bed on the same day as prime minister of Egypt? Let’s walk the talk and trust the Lord to make it happen for us, in the name of Jesus.
Sit back and enjoy our special Christmas issue with the articles from our wonderful writers. We look forward to reading your comments and pray that the Lord will grant you your heart’s desires, in the name of Jesus.
We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance.
Until next time, be prepared.