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January 17, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | January 17

Preparing for Storms

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24–26

On December 26, 2004, just before 8am local time, one of the largest tsunamis in recorded history took shape off the west coast of northern Sumatra. It was caused by a 9.1 earthquake that forced two tectonic plates to shift so violently that the seafloor was thrust upward by 50 feet along a 900-mile fault line.
As a result, billions of tons of water were displaced along the fault, causing a pair of 100-foot waves to travel in opposite directions—one toward India and the other toward Indonesia and Thailand.

In all, the 2004 tsunami killed nearly 230,000 people in fourteen nations, from nearby Indonesia to South Africa 5,200 miles away, where it took eight hours to reach land.

The aftermath of the 2004 tsunami caused nations all across the Pacific Rim to work together to develop sophisticated new ways to detect tsunamis before they reach shore. Nearly 20 years later, these deep-ocean detection systems and ocean buoys form a vast, complex “alarm system” to alert coastal areas when a tsunami is on its way. If this warning system had been in place in 2004, an untold number of lives could have been saved.

As men, we can’t stop “life tsunamis” from slamming into us, but we can better prepare for them when they do happen. Jesus advises to build our life—our house—on him, the Rock. Upon what foundation are you building your life? Money? House? Career? Those things are fine in balance, but not as our foundations. We need an “alarm system” in place to warn us of impending disasters. Prayer, intimacy with the Father, and of course, the Word. But we also need other men. Accountability is irreplaceable and indispensable. Build on His foundation; install your alarm system. Survive the tsunami.

Father, build my house on the rock so I can survive the tidal waves.

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