Taking care of yourself and your family first is not a selfish act. Family members and possibly neighbors may be dependent on you. This is particularly true if you have small children, elderly parents in the home, or handicapped members.

With the high percentage of single-parent families and the need for two wage earners to make ends meet in other families, there is barely enough time to take care of the absolute necessities, much less adding anything to the agenda. I also see segments of our society alienated from the mainstream, young people who are pessimistic about the future and fatalistic toward what is coming to pass on the earth. These are significant barriers to disaster preparedness. This mindset is not unique to the United States. Having served in 105 nations, I see the same patterns of fear, uncertainty, and stress everywhere I go.

Yet this picture does not have to be true. For those of us who believe in Jesus, we can prepare for the worst with serenity. I once heard of an artist who was commissioned to paint a portrait of peace. Rather than painting some idyllic pastoral scene, he chose to depict a fierce storm beating against the craggy face of a mountain. Tucked safely in a cleft of the rock was a nest. In the nest was a little bird, her head thrown back. She was singing at the top of her lungs. The storm raged all around her, but she knew she was safe.

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