Despite what you think, this is not a post encouraging you to stockpile barrels of wheat and weapons. I’m not gonna suggest you start that bomb shelter project you’ve been meaning to get to since 1980. Nor should you run out and enroll in a course teaching self defense and tactical ground-fighting techniques. Unless you really want to, of course.
I’m talking about a whole other sort of prepping all together.
Here we are already at the end of the January. One twelfth of the year has past already. Maybe it’s me, but it does seem the older I get the faster the time goes. Events around the globe seem to be propelling us even faster to either some sort of historical transformation (or perhaps a sort of regression into an all too familiar pattern we’ve yet to learn how to avoid) or an ultimate conclusion.
Oh I know, every generation thinks theirs is either the last or on the precipice of a global metamorphosis that will bring the world to greater harmony. Why should we be any different.
Maybe we aren’t. But what if we are?
“This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember and understand what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: ‘Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.’ They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish. But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment. Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living! You should look forward to that day and hurry it along — the day when God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God. And remember, the Lord is waiting so that people have time to be saved. This is just as our beloved brother Paul wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him — speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture — and the result is disaster for them. I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people. I don’t want you to lose your own secure footing. But grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.To him be all glory and honor, both now and forevermore. Amen.” (2 Peter 3 NLT)
Corrie Ten Boom in her book “The Hiding Place” said, “This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
What have you been prepared for? Do you even know? Chances are we won’t fully understand till a challenge arises and we are forced to draw from our past to deal with the present.
Perhaps you look at your past as misspent waste of life. Yes, now you’re redeemed and you have a glorious eternity ahead of you with Christ, but your past? What could God possibly do with the mess you made? You’re not a speaker who travels around from Megachurch to Megachurch giving your testimony, watching hundreds stream forward at the altar call. There’s no blockbuster movie coming out in February staring Angelina Jolie or Bradley Cooper about your life. People aren’t attending your seminars, telling you what an inspiration you are.
Maybe you’ve had such a normal past that the most exciting thing that ever happened to you was the night you won the Spa Weekend Getaway at the Ramada Inn or you got Employee of the Month when you worked at Tony’s Big Burger.
But God sees what you don’t.
He sees how you’ve learned to manage to get your teenager to basketball practice with ALL her gear, dropped off your ten year old at his best friends birthday party after wrapping the gift he forgot to get but you remembered in the car in front of the house, took the dog to the vet for it’s ear infection, picked up the box of ladies devotionals ordered from the Christian book store, stopped at the hospital to visit your neighbor who’s in for a hip replacement, and made it home in time to put the coffee on for your couples Bible Study group that evening. God is going to need your organizational skills pretty soon and you’re prepped for that task.
He saw when you went on the camping weekend with your Boy Scout troop when you were 16. You were hiking along a narrow ridge line with a couple of other scouts when one of the older boys lost his footing and went tumbling 50 feet, breaking his ankle and possibly suffering a concussion. Immediately you ordered one boy to go back and get the scout leader. You organized the remaining boys to rappel down to the injured youth. You used the tools in your backpack to stabilize his ankle, wrapped him in the space blanket you had to keep him warm and stave off shock, and waited for help to arrive. God saw how calmly and deliberately you dealt with a crisis and He has a plan for those “nerves of steel”.
Maybe you’re a good listener and can calm people’s fears, or at least let them know they’re not alone. God has a plan for your sensitive heart in the days to come.
You know how to sew. You can garden. You are strong. You know carpentry. You’ve been canning since you were a little girl. You know what mushrooms are edible and which aren’t. You know the Word of God.
Throughout your life God has been quietly and diligently preparing you for “such a time as this”. Your personality, your hobbies, your skills…all have been preparation for His use and to His glory. The people you’ve had to deal with, both the gracious and the irritating, have helped to hone your talents and abilities. God is asking you to offer them to Him for the time to come. The bad you’ve endured, the joy you’ve experienced, the evil you’ve seen, and the peace you’ve known…all have brought you to this point in time.