When Disaster Strikes

kathleen cooke Jan 05, 2022

Disasters are never planned, and the world we live in is full of uncertainty. The recent pandemic showed us how fast life can change. We live in the hills of Los Angeles and our home was in jeopardy a few years ago when what was then the largest fire in LA history, the LaTuna Canyon fire, raged just one block away. Here are leadership qualities I’ve found that the best leaders practice during devastating circumstances to bring light and hope.

Leaders are spiritually prepared. Matthew 6:19,20 tells us not to store up earthly treasures—all that stuff that can be eaten by moths or stolen—but to store up heavenly treasures: eternal wealth and security. It starts with a prepared soul. It comes when our relationship is fortified with prayer and support from God’s word, the Bible.

The eight-year study by the Center for Bible Engagement statistically provides the positive results that come from engaging in the Bible just four or more times a week. The study noted that, if a person engages the Bible four or more times a week, their odds of succumbing to temptations such as alcohol abuse, pornography usage, anger and gluttony decrease, and they experience more peace and fewer emotional struggles.

Biblical knowledge affects our perseverance—our grit! Divine promises found in Scripture cemented into our heart and mind give us fortitude and the nourishment for endurance. It allows us to go on and even past the overwhelming emotional and physical hurdles caused when disaster strikes.

Leaders do the practical. Leaders roll up their sleeves to “get ‘er done.” And we don’t just care for our needs but continue to see how we can assist others who were caught off guard by a catastrophe. Overall, the most valuable gift is our caring attitude. It is the encouragement that provides support for the long haul of recovery. We bring hope with our hands and with our hearts.

Sometimes the practical relates to the words we speak during a crisis. As the recovery from the pandemic continues to challenge us, let’s not let up with those simple, practical things of sending or posting a word of encouragement or scripture. Let’s be mindful of how we continue to engage with others online or buy a cup of coffee for someone who needs us to listen.

Finally, leaders don’t allow their joy to be stolen. Leaders in our world today need to take a lesson from the early first century Christian church. They banded together in one accord and built each other up by acknowledging their humanity and vulnerability. They stood on the knowledge of God’s truth demonstrated by their leaders. Some had been with Jesus personally, and others witnessed the ongoing miracles of God, giving them hope that couldn’t be denied even when their lives were in danger.

This hope didn’t bring temporary happiness that earthly possessions promise but it brought joy. It is a joy that satisfies the innermost cravings of our hearts and souls – God’s joy—and it’s a joy that we cannot allow to be stolen.

God sometimes allows disasters to kick us out of our nests, but a crisis doesn’t have to defeat us or weaken our leadership. How will you lead when disaster strikes next? Get prepared now.



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