I wrote most of this post over a year ago. I hadn't a clue how relevant it would prove to be. I write now in the midst of what I previously described as a vague possibility--a global pandemic.
The word "prepper" to some brought to mind a caricature of strange people living isolated in the woods, carrying shotguns, growing their own food, and sporting a beard (men, that is). The wrong perception then, the wrong perception now. A prepper is not to be confused with a “preppy,” a subculture term for a student in an exclusive university-preparatory school.
In the most positive sense, a prepper is a very normal person who wisely prepares for survival during difficult, uncertain, or catastrophic times.
Preppers are in good biblical company. Among others, Noah was a big time prepper. He spent the greater part of his life being the laughing stock of the populace while building a ship, at God's command, for a torrential flood—at a time when the world had not even experienced the climate phenomenon of rain. He was so obedient to God that perhaps he would have bought flood insurance, if it were offered.
Joseph was a political and economic prepper. His dream from God catapulted him into a high leadership position to stock up grain so Egypt would survive seven years of famine.
Jesus told a parable about the ten wise virgins who prepared extra oil for their lamps while waiting the uncertain time for the arrival of the Bridegroom. These are all commended and taken seriously. Some people poke fun at preppers stereotyping them as paranoid people or religious extremists who are forever warning: “The sky is falling!” and that the world is about to end soon. These are incorrect representations.
To prepare is not a lack of faith or trust in God's providence. It is exercising the vital gift of prudence and common sense in cooperation with God.
Most preppers are not crazy or delusional; they are ordinary people with a healthy sense of responsibility who choose to care for and prepare their families for any crisis. They believe it is their duty to protect their families should their daily lives be suddenly disrupted. They use the skills and knowledge and resources God has given them to gear up for the inevitable unexpected.
Although reading the signs of the times, most preppers do not focus on one specific event that might disrupt their comfort zone. They keep themselves ready for anything they might face including natural disasters, cosmic or man made events, and other uncontrollable circumstances including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, and economic collapse. Society tends to put a negative spin on what motivates preppers, but there is nothing wrong with accepting the reality that things do not always go the way we have planned.
Life itself is unpredictable. Man proposes, plans, sets goals, and attempts to order his life. All well and good, but God is the One in control. In his New Testament letter, James warns in chapter 4:13-15, “Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" Nothing is sure. Change is the only constant.
Preppers are not people who brashly hoard up goods for their own pleasure and build bigger barns to hold their surpluses so they themselves can live long in luxury, according to the story which Jesus told about the man with his priorities askew. By being prudently practical, preppers are able to sustain the lives of their family members when weather conditions or other calamities limit their resources or the availability of life-sustaining commodities.
They have a high AQ, Adaptable Quotient to accommodate to uncertain situations with safety and security. Preppers are ordinary but wise people who make sure they have sufficient food, water, and supplies to endure if misfortune strikes.
There are countless reasons why people plan ahead and become preppers, one of which is the fact that grocery stores will not have adequate supplies available if a disaster or pandemic occurs. (That just couldn't happen we thought early last fall.) Once the shelves are empty, each person will be responsible for finding his own food, often by panic and looting. This becomes a huge problem if you only had forethought to have food in your home to last a few days. Finding clean drinking water will not be easy. It will also be extremely difficult to obtain first aid supplies, medications, and other essential items to sustain life.
The daily news exposes vivid scenes of catastrophes in other countries. We deceive ourselves that it can't/won't happen here. Our government can't always be counted on for emergency assistance; there is no guarantee that aid will reach our families quickly. If the entire country is affected by an unthinkable crisis, help may not make it to our family at all. Communication and information systems to reunite our family members could be down.
It is no secret that the economy of the United States has become increasingly rocky over the past several years. For many people that is good reason to become a practical prepper and see that our loved ones have knowledge of basic survival.
Even now the unthinkable, unprecedented pandemic is happening and we are experiencing restrictions and shortages and anxieties and fears and challenges to our very survival. We were caught off guard. Bad things happen when you least expect them. This may be the harbinger of other unimaginable catastrophes that have never tested our new total dependence on modern technology.
There are ample resources available online to help anyone learn even the most basic preparation for coming uncertain times. Simply Google-search “Basics of Prepping” and select from reading the practical articles whatever is best for your family. A prepared family could be the difference between life and death.
God is trying to get our attention to teach us many lessons through this pandemic. If we listen well and adjust our lifestyles and worldview to conform to His, we will come out on the other side better than before. If we prepare for worst case scenarios and they don't happen, thank God. Nothing will be lost; our continuing preparedness will still be the greatest tool we can possess.
The Rest of The Way
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