As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
These words remind me of why I step back from the consumer culture, learn to do more basic work and keep time open for God. While these practices could help my neighbors and me in harder times, they can’t guarantee success or survival for any of us. They can connect us to the ongoing life of the creation and the Creator.
Often work in this culture involves a great deal of waste and futility. But in the created world nothing is wasted. The snow and the rain come down to water the earth and make it fruitful, evaporate and come down again. Everything that dies decays and feeds new life. Nothing is lost. When we work closely with the natural world, as farmers, foresters, hunters, fishermen, gatherers and herbalists, we come to know these cycles, give more of our attention to them and align our own lives with them. We learn to waste less and to reuse more. We learn not to grieve too much over losses and failures that may become the ground of new life and new learnings.
The order and permanence of the creation reflect the image of the Creator. Part of our task as preppers is to free our minds from the distractions of the consumer culture and take time to listen for God’s words as they come to us through Scripture, through our neighbors, and in the stillness of our own hearts. Those words may not always be comforting. They may point out the ways in which we remain unfaithful or remind us that the world is not centered on our pleasure, safety or convenience. But when we attend to them we find all that we need of comfort, clarity, meaning and strength. We learn to fret less about our little lives and find more satisfaction in taking part in God’s eternal life in which nothing is wasted; nothing is lost.
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Today in Christian History
1520 – Leo X issued the papal encyclical ‘Exsurge Domine,’ which condemned German Reformer Martin Luther as a heretic on 41 counts and branded him an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church.
1649 – Margaret Jones of Charlestown became the first person tried and executed for witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts.
1686 – In Boston, the King’s Chapel was organized. It was the first Anglican church established in colonial New England.
1950 – American missionary martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: ‘A man without Christ has his roots only in his own times, and his fruits as well.’
1979 – Greater Europe Mission moved its headquarters from Chicago to Wheaton, Illinois. Founded in 1949, GEM is an evangelical missionary agency involved in church planting and evangelism in over a dozen European countries.
Source for Today in Christian History: www.studylight.org