Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What If Something Happens? Preparing For the Worst

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It seems as though, when governments are in turmoil and economies begin to fall apart, it is the women, especially mothers, who begin to fret about the future most. I'm sure the men don't feel very secure either, since they usually bear the brunt of providing for their families. However, women seem to be more vulnerable during social upheaval. 

When Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States, our children were very small. I remember clearly my reaction when I heard the news: I cried. I became fearful someone would come and take our children away. We were homeschooling at the time, and it wasn't as well known or popular as it is today. I knew his policies on education and his wife's desire to see the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) ratified. I spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out how we could hide out in the woods at the back of the corn field behind our house. (Yes, I really did that.)

Have you been having similar thoughts? Does what you hear in the news and, perhaps even from the pulpit, have you wondering what you will do if "something" happens? Let's consider a few things which may help bring about a more peaceful focus on the future.

Prepare Your Heart

The first place to begin when you are troubled is with the state of your heart. It is the seat of all emotion and is primarily influenced by what we hear and see. Our relationship with God during times of distress will determine how well we weather the storm.

  • Never forget Who is ultimately in charge. Even though we or our children may be called to suffer, there is a God in Heaven who knows everything before it happens and will give grace to those who call upon Him. (Psalm 145:18) Evil men may enact wicked laws against the people of God and may bring unjust judgments against us, but there is another judgment day coming when all the works of men, including our own, will be judged in pure righteousness. (Ecclesiastes 5:8)
  • Take every thought captive. In 2 Corinthians 10: 4, 5 we are told "...the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." Therefore we must be "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." It is easy to let our thoughts run wild when we hear all the bad news around us. However, if one is a believer in Christ, she has the power of the Spirit ready at hand to corral those thoughts. Thinking about the worst that could happen is not only unprofitable, but it can also be destructive.
  • Memorize peaceful Scriptures. Part of bringing those thoughts into captivity is to have Bible verses ingrained in your mind which may be accessible at any given moment of turmoil. Psalm 37 is a wonderful Psalm to commit to memory. Just begin with one verse a week, and you'll have the whole thing memorized before you know it. Another good one is Psalm 18. There are many more. If you haven't memorized any Scripture yet, it is good to just go to the Psalms and begin to read. There will always be something for you there to hang onto.
  • Pray and give thanks. Psalm 50:15 says, "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." As the old hymn states, "O what peace we often forfeit/ O what needless pain we bear/ All because we do not carry/ Everything to God in prayer." Whenever you catch yourself fretting, turn your spiritual eyes toward Heaven and pour out all your doubts and fears to God. Then, give Him thanks for all the good things you enjoy from His hands even in the midst of your turmoil. Giving of thanks is a powerful tool against the wiles of the Devil. Use it, and reap the victory! (See 2 Chronicles 20:1-30)
  • Curb media listening/viewing/reading. One reason I was so distressed over the election of Bill Clinton was because I was listening to talk radio every day at lunch time. It became a habit and a major part of our family life for nearly twenty years. I don't even turn it on anymore. Even Christian talk shows can create a knot in my stomach. If this happens to you, I'd suggest a media fast. Just don't watch it, listen to it, or read it for a week. We used to attend a family camp which was virtually a media blackout time. We didn't miss it at all.
Prepare Your Home

There are times other than national crisis when it's good to be prepared for survival. We were without electricity for four days one summer from a thunderstorm and were reminded how unprepared we really were. It's not necessary to build a bomb shelter, but there are a few things a family can do to be ready for just about any disaster. Don't let these suggestions stress you out, though. It isn't always possible to be this prepared.

  • A pure water source: You can live without food for quite awhile, but you can't make it for very long without hydration. In the short term, it's good to have purifying tablets, chlorine bleach, or filters for filtering natural water sources handy. Most municipal water sources have a backup for electrical outages. However, if you have a well with an electric pump, it would be a good idea to have a hand pump also. If you don't, you're sunk when the electric goes out. A generator is, of course, another alternative and require a fuel source. 
  • A reliable heat source: If you have a fireplace or a wood stove, it is wise to have hand tools available for emergencies when you aren't able to get fuel for your chain saw and splitter. An ax, splitting awl, and sharpening stone are the bare minimum for getting wood for heat. If you don't have a way to heat your home with wood, it may be a good time to look into it. I remember my parents turning on our natural gas oven and partitioning off the kitchen for us to keep warm in power outages. (Caution: Keep a window cracked for ventilation.) The same could be done with a small wood stove in a corner of the kitchen or living area. 
  • A renewable food source: If you haven't already, now is the time to begin gardening. Saved seeds from heirloom plants may be used from year to year. Unfortunately, most plants you get from the garden center are hybrids. Their seeds will not produce the same plant and are virtually useless for propagation. Look for the word heirloom on the packaging or order heirloom seeds and plants online or through a mail order catalog. For a meat source, you might try raising meat rabbits and/or chickens. Of course, check your local ordinances for rules regarding keeping these animals before making an investment. A shotgun and ammunition might be a good investment as well.
Prepare Your Children

I am convinced the one reason Barack Obama was elected president of the United States is because of the success of our public education system in brainwashing and dumbing down the populace. If there is any hope for the future of our country, it will come from parents who take up their responsibility to teach their own children the truth about God and government.

  • Parents have a mandate from God to instruct their children in the Word of God (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Make it a daily practice to take some time to sit together and read from the Bible. If the father of the home doesn't desire to do so, a godly mother will find a way to share the Word with her children without shaming or embarrassing her husband.
  • Pray with your children at regular times throughout the day: at meals, before bed, and any time there is a need for wisdom in making a decision, resolving a conflict, or in times of distress.
  • Teach your children to be thankful by your own example. Each time there is something for which to be thankful, be sure to bring it to the children's attention. For instance, "Children, we can be thankful to the Lord we weren't in a wreck back there when that woman pulled out in front of us." Open thanks and praise to God in your home is the best and enduring way to instill this attitude in your children. When done in times when things don't go our way, it will reap eternal benefit as well.
  • Children who are taught to work and cooperate as a team will be best prepared for times of hardship. It is a vital part of their maturity to keep at a job without slacking and to be ready to help in times of need. It is wicked and immature people who fall apart during a crisis and resort to violence and theft. Again, your own example in this will lead the way in their training. Let them work alongside you and take them with you to help others such as the elderly and young mothers with small children.
  • Make certain your children are well educated in history, government, economics, and citizenship. Math, science, and grammar are important, but not nearly as important as those before mentioned. You don't' want well-educated children who vote for candidates who will destroy our country and take away our freedoms. I strongly urge you to withdraw your children from the public schools as soon as possible. If that's not an option in your home, then by all means obtain the resources you need to teach your children biblical social studies. Listening to conservative and Christian talk radio also helps, but they need good literature as well. Christian Liberty Press has some great products including a well-rounded home school curriculum.
Though we may never be sure what the future holds, there are things we can do which may make a difficult time a lot easier to weather. Come what may, always put your trust in God who alone holds the future. Pray, prepare, and give praise.