The government’s alert system message to Hawaiians was stark:
BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL
The message had only one fact correct. It wasn’t a drill. It was a mistake. Thirty-eight minutes later, longer than the time it would have taken missiles to arrive from North Korea, a correction was sent. Between those times there were reports of panic and confusion and prayer, with people taking cover in bathrooms and storm drains—and modern folks make fun of the “duck and cover” drills of previous generations. Since the correction, the most common reaction has been anger.
It usually takes a near-death experience or terminal illness diagnosis to get people to consider their own mortality seriously. We know we will die, but we like to live in denial as long as possible. Yet death is an unyielding reality. The scriptures inform us of this and ask us to prepare for it.As it says in Heb. 9:27: “…it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment…”
Unlike the Hawaiian message, the Bible message is not in error and is one of hope—as it also contains the message of salvation unto eternal life. In 2 Tim. 2:9,10, the apostle Paul speaks of the “…grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus…who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
True consideration our own mortality is never pleasant, but it so much more bearable, and even fulfilling, when we can look at it through to eye of faith and see at our side Jesus, who conquers death and promises life to us.