Extraordinary End-time Birth Pangs :: By Todd Strandberg

In recent days, there have been several dozen end-time warning signs that show we are getting very close to the tribulation hour. One of the greatest dangers is for us to become desensitized to them. Lately, some birth pangs need to be given special recognition for their rarity and magnitude.

Firestorm in Lahaina, Hawaii

It has been a little over a month after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century leveled the historic town of Lahaina, Hawaii. Governor Josh Green said that the number of missing has dropped to 66, the confirmed death toll remains at 115, and authorities will soon escort residents on visits to their property.

The firestorm was the result of three key ingredients: the area was suffering from drought conditions, there was a strong high-pressure area to the North, and a strong cyclone in the south of the island. The resulting 90 mph wind sent flames through the area like a blow torch.

Fires in Eastern Canada

I lived in Nebraska and Iowa for over 40 years of my life. I don’t ever recall smoke coming down from Canada to blanket the two states. Normally eastern Canada is too wet and cold to allow for massive fires.

A record-breaking 59,000 square miles have burned across Canada this year, forcing nearly 1 out of every 200 Canadians to evacuate their homes and smothering vast parts of North America in choking smoke.

There’s no let-up in sight for Canada’s worst wildfire season. In the previous two years, the U.S. had its worst seasons for forest fires.

“The increase in intensity, that’s what worries me the most,” Flanigan says. At home in Kamloops, British Columbia, he coughs as smoky air from local fires wafts through the room. “Having that increase in intensity means we’re seeing more fires we cannot manage with direct attack. Just about 3 of Canada’s fires—usually the most intense ones—cause nearly all the damage,” Flannigan points out.

My current home state of Arkansas has escaped the clouds of smoke. We did not escape 2023 without suffering our own birth pang. Little Rock was hit by a monstrous tornado.

Morocco Earthquake

A magnitude 7.2 quake, Morocco’s deadliest in more than 60 years, struck in the High Atlas mountains late on Friday night. The death count currently stands at 3,000.

The ground shaking associated with the earthquake resulted in the total collapse of many dwellings near its epicenter, a great number of which were traditional mud brick constructions. Rockfalls and landslides have buried villages in the remote, mountainous region.

About a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that several months had passed without the occurrence of a major quake with a large loss of life. I was not surprised by the news of the Morocco Earthquake. If you live in an earthquake zone, you need to stay prayed up. The next quake-related birth pang could easily involve you.

The Libya Floods

After sweeping Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria with severe flooding that killed more than 20 people, it formed into a “medicine” over the Mediterranean – a relatively rare type of storm with similar characteristics to hurricanes and typhoons.

Storm Daniel was the deadliest and costliest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone ever recorded, as well as the deadliest cyclone worldwide since Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

The current death count is around 11,000, and it may quickly rise to over 20,000. Many bodies that are deeply buried or have been washed out to sea may never be recovered.

Some areas received as much as 16 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. In a normal year, their annual rainfall would only be 2 inches.

One of the hardest-hit areas is the coastal city of Derna, which had entire neighborhoods swept away by a giant wall of water. I’ve seen many floods in desert locations, but I’ve never seen a video of even the ground being washed away.

Southern Lebanon Powder Keg

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador has described, “The Middle East is a Powder Keg.” The terrorist group Hezbollah has around 250,000 rockets aimed at the Jewish state.

The Israel National News website reported that “Israel’s defense establishment is preparing for the worst-case scenario during a war on the northern border, which would include days-long blackouts, hundreds dead, and thousands wounded.”

Israel faces potentially thousands of rockets fired against her on the first day, with as many as 6,000 rockets coming in on the first few days. As time progresses, the number would drop to “about only 1,500 to 2,000 rockets a day.”

In recent months, Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile toward Israel and allowed Hamas, another internationally designated terror group, to launch more than 30 rockets at Israel from Hezbollah-controlled territory. Israel has bombed areas around the Damascus airport 28 times this year.

Only the staying hand of God can explain why a massive war has not erupted in the region.

Earth has become a world that is so dangerous, evil, and crazy that I now only see myself as a visitor. It is frustrating that we don’t have a date for when our Lord is coming for us. Knowing that heaven is a much better place gives me the strength to endure the wait.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).