We live in a world of uncertainty, and sudden disasters are never planned. Recently our home could have been in jeopardy when the largest fire in Los Angeles history, the La Tuna Canyon fire, raged just one block away. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are recent major disasters and no one will ever forget the devastation of Katrina not so long ago. The damage of these major events is more than a disaster – it’s a historic disruption that will affect personal lives and our country for many years to come.  The aftermath can be a moment to reflect on leadership and how to find peace and restoration.  When disaster strikes, here’s a few things that leaders can do to bring light and hope:

First, leaders should be spiritually prepared. 

Matthew 6:19 & 20 tells us not to store up earthly treasures – things that can be eaten by moths or stolen, but to store up heavenly treasures. This kind of preparedness starts with soul food and supplies. It comes from a fortified life built on the Bible and grounded in a vibrant relationship with God. Yes, we should store up food, water, flashlights and even gas masks – physical supplies but ultimately it comes down to what we’ve stored up on the inside, not the outside.

How strong is your soul and has it been prepared for uncertainty by knowing God’s heart and mind?

Biblical knowledge affects our perseverance. Promises found in scripture cemented into our heart and mind gives us sustainability. It gives us the ability to even go past the initial overwhelming emotional and physical hurdles caused when a disaster strikes and push through to complete restoration.

Secondly,  when disasters strike leaders should be 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.  It can be a meal, volunteering our elbow grease, or as simple as giving a financial gift. The Bible says in Luke 6:45 (NIV), The good man brings good things out of the good treasure of his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil treasure of his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.What’s “overflowing” out of your mouth when disasters happen? Is it profanity? Is it negativity? Do you lash out with blame on the government or even God? Remember, this is not the perfect world God created.

When you are unexpectedly fired, thrown financially for a loop, or the C word hits, what’s your kneejerk reaction? 

Finally, leaders don’t allow their joy to be stolen.

We’ve all had unexpected disasters happen in some form. Leaders today need to take a lesson from the early Christian church. They banded together in one accord and built each other up. They stood on the knowledge of God’s Word that was demonstrated by their leaders Paul, Peter, Barnabas, and others recorded in the book of Acts. Some had been with Jesus personally, and others witnessed the ongoing miracles of God giving them a hope that couldn’t be denied even when their lives depended on it. This hope didn’t bring temporary happiness that earthly possessions promised but brought joy. A joy that satisfies the innermost cravings of our souls and can’t be stolen or eaten by moths. God’s joy is infectious and eternal.

How will you lead when disaster strikes? Get prepared now!