Trusting in God and Preparing for the Future

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Piano Hero

Puritan Board Sophomore
In thinking about the future, I was considering making an 'emergency' or '72-hour-kit', as advised by a lot of people in the case of emergencies/earthquakes/other natural disasters. I also was going a step further, and wondered about stocking up on other items for more long-term use, such as essential clothing, longer-lasting food (such as canned, dried, etc), and other items that would be useful in the event of an economic collapse or something of that nature.

Would there be a point where it would be distrustful to stock for points in time that are too far away? IE, is there something about preparing a 3-month supply that's alright, but that preparing for a year of food/water would be overkill?

(As a note, I'm a young woman still living with my parents, but I am thinking about this from the perspective if I were living on my own, or with a room mate, or married)
I look at it as a matter of personal preference weighing your personal circumstances. I'd also consider the lessons from history: during disasters of any kind, your best chance at long-term survival is to be part of a community. That network of friends, relatives, associates, etc., is far more valuable than any particular items you may have stored up.

But, that is not to say stocking up is bad. My grandmother, who homesteaded on the prairie of north-central Montana routinely kept up about a year's supply of basics. She and her husband raised 9 children through the dust-bowl and depression, often trading what she had with neighbors who had something else. None of her children complained about real privation. They complained about strictness, boring meals, and so forth, but they all were well-fed and grew up healthy.

Also, your skills and experience come into play. For example, I never saw the need to store vast amounts of water because I have a river nearby and know how to boil water. Besides, from sailing, I've learned that a gallon a day is plenty. 50 gallons in the water heater can help a couple survive almost two months without too much stress. On top of all that, I have a ceramic filter that can process 5 gallons a day if I really want to drink that river water without boiling.

And for food, contrary to all sorts of internet advice (usually from people selling expensive "kits"), some dry stores of grain and beans are quite cheap and go a long way. Again, thinking of my grandmother, she would put by a couple hundred pounds of beans and some 10 or 15 bushels of wheat to cover the basic calorie needs of the family.

I could go on and on with details, because I've thought of such things very often. Some thumbnail calculations:

Assume a survival diet of 1800 -2000 calories a day. A half pound of grain is almost 900 calories, a half pound of beans is about the same. You almost have what you need, and a little canned or dried meat will make living luxurious (sort of).

A bushel of wheat is 60 pounds, and a little smaller than 10 gallons in volume. Similar dimensions for the beans. A bushel of each will keep you going at survival level for 120 days.

Just "food" for thought. I do think it is unwise to spend a lot on survival staples.
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Pro 6:6    Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:pro 6:7    Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,Pro 6:8    Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

Maybe there is a principle here. I know this passage is about the sluggard but it also speaks to being prepared for the season when there will be need.
Also, don't forget the Great Tribulation where you will need about 42 months of provisions because you wont be able to trade without the mark of the beast. Remember to store your provisions in a non-flammable shelter in case of fire breathing witnesses...
Matthew, you're being tongue-in-cheek, right?

Breanna, I think Vic's thoughts are sound. If you live near fresh running water, and are out in the country, your approach will be much different than if you live in an urban area. In the latter you would need to have water stored – a gallon a day per individual is good, though half a gal would suffice for two weeks, is minimal in my view (note: I've had the store-bought gal jugs leak in storage, so better commercial grade containers are best). If you're in the former situation – in the country your need for storing water would be different, you would just have to make sure it is free of contaminants. There are survivalist / prepper sites that can give you info on what foods store best on the long-term (for example, brown rice – which is healthy – does not store long unless it is frozen or refrigerated; the oils in it go rancid, so 6 mo tops), and as Vic pointed out you need to have a balanced diet. If you live in a rural area, and plan on remaining in such – even if you change lodgings – it might be well to learn to shoot and hunt, both larger game (deer, bear, wild hogs if those are around, etc) and small (birds, rabbits, ground hogs, etc), and have the right firearms for each.

You might also want to prepare for loss of electricity and fuel for heating and cooking. If you are on country property you should have wood available; if not you should seek what type of fuel for cooking & heating would suffice. The same goes for staying warm clothing and bedding-wise. It might be prudent to get some ECW (extreme cold weather) Army surplus sleeping bags, but these would be for sheltering-in-place as they are heavy.

If you have spare funds, buying junk silver (pre-1964 silver coins
– including 1964), which are 90% silver and would be a viable currency of exchange if the dollar lost its value (actually it already has, but if all confidence in it evaporates and it is worth nothing in stores). Silver is low now, so it's a buyer's market; ditto for gold, but that's for those with dollars they want to exchange for the preservation of their capital. Many are down on silver and gold today, but that's my 2¢ , and I've been pondering this for a long time.

You might want to get survival items suitable for wilderness backpacking, tent, knife, axe, rope, tarps, light cooking gear, etc; also a radio that runs on solar / crank / batteries / and wired electric. You would get more ideas at the prepper sites.

And what Vic said about community is essential! This would probably include your immediate family, and your
church, and other close friends. It will be very important to have such close people around if some emergency situation arose; one should also have contact info for such people, and a pre-arranged meeting place, in case all communications went down.

Last but actually first in importance, is to have
– and continue cultivating – an intimate walk with the Lord Jesus; be part of a sound Bible-believing church; know the Scriptures well (have spare Bibles set aside in case you lose yours).

Also, a good comprehension of what might be coming down the pike, eschatology-wise. Personally, I think this country – America – is due for heavy judgments from a profoundly offended Deity, and these may come in the form of natural disasters, attacks from other nations – perhaps initially of the cyber variety, as in taking down the electric grid, or the unleashing of highly contagious biological weapons, or chemical weapons – and later in the game, more extensive and destructive attacks. We should also expect to see domestic disorder – food riots etc – and government responses including strict martial law. We should also prepare to see our government change radically, no longer the benign entity it once was. I think the Amillennial school has by far the best take on the book of Revelation's visions, symbols, and prophecies, though it is a difficult area due to the other "schools" clouding the air with confusion and misinformation.

Eschatology is a pastoral matter to me and not primarily an academic study, due to how getting it wrong can make a mess of one's expectations, preparations, and labors for Christ and His gospel.

I hope this is helpful.
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To some extent it just seems like good preparation in the normal run of things, for example in case you were jobless for a while. It doesn't even require the rest of society to be suffering. It's also possible you would end up using your supplies to help another family in need.
I really want to mend the hand pump on our second well.
Breanna, your thread title suggests you wonder at what point survival planning usurps trusting in God. I don't think it's necessarily an either/or issue, but I do think you're wise to consider what's happening in your heart when you think of survival planning. No one else can really answer that for you or give you a point where wise planning gives way to sin. You need to ask it of yourself. Are you exercising wisdom and prudence... or are you putting your trust and sense of security in "horses and chariots" rather than in the Lord? If it's the former, do whatever seems prudent. If the latter, you may need to avoid any survival planning at all lest it feed sin.
Another angle is the idea of "investing" in food. This, from a housewifery standpoint.

How can you make 20-50% on your money, tax-free, legally, with ALMOST no risk?

If you have the (basically cost-free) space, you can do it with food and other supplies.

The trick would be to ONLY buy what you REALLY will use within a year. It might be tempting to buy stuff just because it is on sale. Personally I am no fan of buying stuff like MREs or freeze dried survival kind of food, because unless there is a big disaster. . . I'm not going to eat them.

But, for example, if you really do use a can of tuna once a week, it would be smart to buy 52 cans if they are half price. If you make spaghetti at least once a month, buy twelve packages if they are 40% off. If your favorite cereal that you buy twice is month is buy one, get one half off, well, buy 12 and get 12 half off.

It is a great inflation hedge, it is simple, and how can you lose? I guess if it gets ruined in a fire or flood or by pests. Or if we go through a terrible period of deflation. But at least you will still have the food, which has intrinsic value.
It's definitally smart to plan for the zombie apocalypse since Zechariah 14:12 clearly is a prophecy about zombies. Here's everything you need to know on that subject What does the Bible say about zombies?.

Ok seriously now, I stocked up a couple years ago because there was an email going around to pastors from David Wilkerson who had some sort of vision explaining a disaster was coming and advised to stock up for 3 to 6 months. Well I got my mom to stock up for 3 months worth and...... we ate it all, and nothing happened. Just an anecdote.

God gave us wisdom and prudence being in His image and it is insulting to Him not to use it. On the other hand God's shouldn't be left out of our decisions James 4:13~17. So my advice is pray, ask for wisdom and know that it isn't a sin to make a 5 year plan or something like that, but it can be a sin to rely on your own strength. I'd suggest stocking up books too :)
If you lived in a place that is prone to natural disaster, flood, earthquakes, cyclones etc then there is nothing wrong with being prepared. I bet there have been thousands all over the world who wish they had done that very thing. How many struggle for food and water after a disaster is quite huge at times. To say it is not trusting in God is not right for anyone to tell you. What would be the difference to someone having fire fighting equipment who lived in the country, or a ship with lifeboats, boats with life jackets. Or even a spare tyre in your car, just in case?
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