My experience working with men and women who are seeking to prepare themselves and their families for coming disasters has made one thing quite clear…preparing can be an anxious business. When you or I decide to plan and to prepare for coming disaster, we open ourselves up to unsettling thoughts. But the purpose of our preparation is peace. We are seeking to act now so that when things go badly, we will not have to fear. A little stress now as we prepare can go a long way to providing rest then.
But does that mean that we have to run around frantically as we seek to prepare? I hope not! I am persuaded that proper planning and careful implementation of that plan can make our preparations far less stressful.
Without sober planning, our preparations become mere reflexes. What we need is thoughtfulness, clear headedness, and wisdom. Whether it’s deciding where to live, choosing what and how much food to store away, or how to provide for the security of my family, I need to plan.
There are tremendous resources available to help make that kind of plan. Many are available on this website. For anyone seeking to prepare for coming disaster, the first step is to learn all you can about the potential dangers and about how you might act to prepare yourself for those dangers. It’s no good to install a fire hydrant when you’re region is threatened by a flood. We have to use our resources wisely. How can I use my available funds to purchase supplies that will best fend off the kind of disaster I most anticipate? Asking and answering these kinds of questions can go a long way toward bringing calmness and rest.
But there is an even more important step that must be taken in order to plan and prepare well. You must engage in a thoughtful contemplation of the future. What are you planning for? What will be the outcome if you accomplish your preparation goals before the disaster hits? Do you expect to merely survive? Or do you hope to thrive? Granted, thriving may look very different in some settings than others. But here’s my point—if you plan well and execute that plan, you can face the future with restful hope.
I see an example in the Scriptures that might help establish my point. The Book of Exodus tells us that the children of Israel were wandering through the wilderness of Sinai. They were running short of food. To meet that need, God provided them with manna. Manna was a kind of grain-like food that appeared every morning when the dew settled on the ground. The Israelites were commanded to gather only what they could use for the day. If they tried to carry over manna as left-overs for the next day, it would get wormy. But then on Fridays they were commanded to gather twice as much. The manna they kept over from Friday for the Sabbath (Saturday) did not get worms. Now what possible lesson might we gain from this piece of Bible history? It has to do with what you expect from the future. Do you believe that if you prepare well now that you will enjoy rest when the things you’re preparing for come to pass? That requires faith. Many Israelites didn’t believe God and tried to go out and gather manna on Saturday morning. No manna fell. Those who believed God and who had gathered the required quota found rest. They had all they needed for the day when no manna fell.
Now the work of preparing for the failure of the grid or some such disaster is not as cut and dry as the story of the manna in the wilderness. But like those Israelites, if you and I plan and prepare well, we can have rest when the day comes. As a Christian, I believe that God has promised to supply all my needs. He has also commanded me to act wisely to care for and provide for my family. That means that, like those Israelites in the wilderness, I can trust that my double manna kind of preparation will be the means whereby God’s provision will come. And that means I can prepare now in peace. I can anticipate that my preparations will bring me rest when the hardship arrives. Believe and prepare. And in your preparations be at rest.