What has been laid on my heart today is the topic of preparedness. That word has seemed to take on a life of it’s own lately. More and more people seem to feel a burden to prepare for what may come in the future. Daily, we are faced with warnings that our country is on borrowed time. People turning their backs on God and His Word, unprecedented spending in spite of unprecedented debt, credit downgrades, civil unrest, questionable oil supply, declining morality, threats of war, riots, crime, and on and on. Not to mention the natural disasters that seem to break record after record. The people in our leadership positions, the ones “in charge” more often fight about ways to fix things without actually doing anything at all. I find myself uttering the words of Psalm 13… “How long, O Lord?”
No wonder people are feeling the need to batten down the hatches.
I don’t know when Christ will call His bride home. I know that I hope and pray it will happen soon. I am terrified to see how much farther we can fall. I am devestated when I imagine the type of world my children may have to live in and what kind of burden they may have to bear because of the decisions that are being made today. I feel a heavy responsibility to prepare them. Yes, keeping a supply of food on hand and getting GOODY bags ready are important things to do, but I feel a burden to go beyond that. I fear that if I don’t learn the skills of homesteading that are not necessarily needed in America today, my kids might end up in a world that has forgotten how to survive without depending on someone else, in a time where depending on someone else will not an option. Things like raising chickens, milking goats or preserving food might seem like a quaint hobby right now, but it could mean the difference between life and death for my kids or grandkids later on.
Fear. It can be overwhelming. It can break you if you let it.
I was in tears, pouring out my heart to my husband the other day, about the failures in the garden, the debt we are still struggling to pay off, and what seemed like one failure after another. Then he said something that was very simple, but very wise: You have to take the road if you want to get to your destination. Even if that road has potholes and steep, curvy twists- you have to keep going if you want to arrive. You can’t just quit and expect some miraculous escape. The things learned on that road may even be more valuable that what you think you want for an end result.
I have learned a lot lately through what seems like endless delays, even if it hurts my pride a little to admit that. For one thing, go ahead and start some tomato seedlings mid-spring just in case your first tomatoes don’t flower and you are desperate or fortunate enough to try for a fall crop! The main thing I have realized, however, is that I have been putting more faith in my skills, my resources, and my abilities than I have been putting in the power of God. Only He can see us through.
Also, I have found a peace about the entire concept of “preparing.” I have struggled about how much I should be doing, if it was enough, and if I just trust in God, why prepare at all? The peace I’ve found is this: Do what I can with what I have, where I’m at now. Then, let whatever may come, come. It is in God’s hands. Should the world fall down around us, at least I considered the ants and followed their example. I do not trust in my preparations. They are simply a tool to survive if needed. I do not feel “safe” because I stored up some food, I feel like I have done my God-given duty as a wife an mother to provide for my family, just like the woman in Proverbs 31 provided for her family. My version of providing might take a different form than her version, but the concept is the same. Should we lose all we have in a tornado tomorrow, I will not feel my efforts were in vain. We will simply pick up and start again. Should we lose everything we have and starting again isn’t possible due to the condition of the world, then blessed be the name of the Lord who gives and who takes away. We will have done all we could on our part to be ready, we will have been faithful with the things we were given, but what ultimately happens is up to Him. We will trust in Him alone and look forward to our eternal home. For we know in whom our faith is found, it is in Christ, our Cornerstone.