Much of the following blog was written in 2020, but it could have been written this week. The message resonates now with just as much meaning as back then.
It was an ordinary Monday in an extraordinary year when a tree beside our house was struck by lightning. It was scary. The entire house shook from the sound akin to a sonic boom, and a red-orange light filled every room, like a giant fireball hurled through the windows. We knew lightning had struck nearby, but we didn’t know where. It was raining too hard to go outside and look around, and everything in the house seemed okay, so we surmised, perhaps it wasn’t as close as we thought.
That evening, we all sat down together to watch a holiday special on TV, and we had no signal. The Tivo was working. It told us what channel was on and what program we should be seeing on the screen, but all we saw was a message that there was no channel available. We checked the other televisions in the house and found that we had no stations on any of them. Ken went outside with a flashlight and found that the antenna was still there, so he checked the booster in the garage where the signal comes into the house. The booster was dead. We were not at all prepared for lightning to strike.
Unprepared for the Unexpected
The next day, Ken went out to get a closer look at the antenna, but it looked just fine. He noticed splintered branches on the ground at his feet, and when he turned around, he spotted the tree. The splintered pieces had been thrown thirty feet from the tree and landed in the yard right outside our living room. Thankfully, none hit the windows. The tree was split and splintered, and the ground was scorched, the roots exploded.
That booster might be the only electronic in our house not plugged into a surge protector. All our laptops, televisions, and other devices are plugged into surge protectors, prepared for any type of electrical surge, but that booster was left vulnerable. It had no line of defense in the event of a lightning strike. All it took was one bolt hitting a tree on the opposite side of the house, and the booster was gone. We were not prepared for that to happen.
Christmas is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when we celebrate the coming of our King, and we spend four weeks preparing ourselves for His arrival. Throughout Advent, which just began this past Sunday, we are to be preparing our homes, our families, our minds, and our souls for the coming of the Lord. Are you prepared?
“The Son of Man in His day will be like the lightening that flashes from one end of the sky to the other” (Luke 17:24).
Preparing for What’s to Come
2020 was a crazy year, and 2021 wasn’t much different. It seems that 2022 was the year for getting back to normal, but what’s normal anymore? If the past few years taught us anything, it should be that we always need to be prepared. We can never know what lies around the corner, what crisis we will face, or when our time will come to meet our Creator. We must be vigilant, always on the lookout.
“You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come” (Luke 12:40).
For the rest of that week, we had no television. We played games, read books, and enjoyed our time together. It might have been the nicest week of the whole season.
Maybe there’s a reason that happened when it did, the first Monday of Advent. Perhaps we needed that time without television – one less distraction from our Christmas preparations. Maybe we were just meant to spend that time preparing, thinking about what’s to come, and counting our blessings. To paraphrase the Grinch, maybe the lightning strike, perhaps…meant a little bit more!
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines was released in June of 2021. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s chapter book is The Greatest Gift, and her most recent suspense novel is Summer’s Squall.
Amy’s second book in the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Promise, was awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book in Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two, Under the Summer Moon, and Book Three, Sapphires in Snow, are also available now.
Book One of Amy’s next Chincoteague Trilogy, Seeking Tranquility, is in stores now!
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021), Under the Summer Moon (2021), Seeking Tranquility (2022), Sapphires in Snow (2022).