Friday, April 6, 2012

Can Preparedness/Self-Reliance Still Be God-Reliance?

If you could time warp back about 25 years, you would find me as a little girl sitting on the floor of the closet in my bedroom with several Cabbage Patch Dolls (and my brother when I could convince him to participate) playing "emergency." The dolls would be bunkered down in their "safe area" where they had stored all the toy kitchen food, jump ropes and a flashlight.

Take a few years leap forward and you would see a teenage big sister, whose parents happened to be gone from home leaving the others in her care, when a power storm raged, a tree branch caught a wire, and the electricity was surging. In my mind, our old house would surely catch fire and I needed to devise a plan for waking my five young siblings and removing them all safely from the house.

Other various snapshots throughout my growing up years would show (particularly when the t.v. was beeping those severe storm warnings across the screen!) a small duffel bag packed with my Bible, an envelop of family pictures, money, a blanket, a flashlight, (and my favorite stuffed animal of course!) Or the "medical" bag I used to keep filled with things like bandaides, tape, scissors....

I don’t know where, as a child, this sense of needing Emergency Preparedness came from. I didn’t even know the term back then. It was just something I did. So, as an adult with a husband and home of our own, it just seemed to carry over—it was the natural thing to do—to have a plan, grow a garden, keep a food and storage pantry. And it evolved to include lowering our debt/dependence, gaining some tools and learning useful skills. But as a God-fearing Christian, I wrestled with the idea that our planning and storage was a mere measure of my lack of faith. Especially with today’s increasing use of the buzz words self-reliant, prepper,& doomsday setting people on edge, in conjunction with the economy and turmoil around the world—I needed to solidify my own explanation for when people ask questions.

Attempting to live each day of my life in line with God’s will and with the direction of His Word, I turned to the Bible for the support and clarity I needed to decide what measures to take as well as how to address the subject with other people. My findings give a confirmation and comfort that our “self-reliance” as it may be called is still “God-reliant.” 

Firstly, let me not be mistaken—Spiritual Preparedness is the number one priority. Knowing Jesus as your personal Savior is the only true Salvation. Next, what I am referring to in this article, is Physical Preparedness…
~Being prepared is an act of faith and is good stewardship of the opportunities and blessings God has given us.
~His promise is to provide for all of our needs—Don’t you think that His abundant blessing now could indeed be that provision for later on? 
~We are to minister to others in love—Now this is different of course than redistribution/forced charitable giving we do under the control of someone else….(but I’d better save my thoughts on that for another article.)

~Noah—upon God’s instruction and warning of things yet unseen, Noah took action and built the Ark whereby saving his family. (Genesis 6-9, Hebrews 11:7)
~Joseph—took food into storage during the 7 years of plenty, and was therefore prepared for the 7 years of famine which followed, even to the extent of being able to help his family when they arrived in need. (Genesis 41-42)
~the ant—small, and not strong, but prepares food in the summer; and the badger makes its house in the rocks.  (Proverbs 30:24-26)
~Parable of the 10 Women—5 were unprepared by not taking oil along for their lamps, while the other 5 planned ahead, taking enough oil to keep their lamps burning through the delay and still be able to join in the marriage banquet.  (Matthew 25)
~Warnings—In the world there will be great tribulation (John 16:33) There will be wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence (Luke 21:9-11)

Now, I don’t pretend to know exactly what our future holds, but I do know I will do my best to honor God and care for my family as I continue in Godly-self-reliance and preparedness. I ask you to assess your own situation and choose just a few things to start with even as simple as buying extra canned goods to have on hand, or learning a useful skill, or growing and preserving some of your own veggies this summer. I invite you to join me as we learn and grow—subscribe to my blog here at, where you can follow along to get updates and tips from my gardening, preserving, crafting, (and more!) adventures toward independence and salvation.