Besides Noah, the Old Testament provides many examples of Spirit-filled preparation, but I want to move into the New Testament because there’s one verse that gets me every time:
“Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.” Matthew 10:9.
Here Jesus sends out the 12 disciples with a direct command to NOT prepare physically ahead of time. They should be completely dependent on God’s ability to care for them.
This verse in combination with Matthew 6:25-34 (don’t worry, tomorrow will worry about itself) prevents many, many Christians from thinking seriously about preparedness. We say: when our time comes we will accept it. God will provide the solution, I just need to pray and trust.
Of course God will take care of your family! Definitely you should pray and trust! But here’s a question for you: HOW does God provide for his followers?
In the verse above, Jesus tells the apostles not to take extra things because “the worker is worth his keep.” They stayed in homes, ate food, and slept in beds provided by willing families. As a wife and mother I can easily imagine the preparation that went into housing one of Jesus’ apostles for a night, a week, a month, or longer.
God uses His people to provide for others. His people – that’s you and me! We should be ready and willing to help whenever possible, and that includes unforeseen emergencies and disasters.
Another point from the New Testament: at the end of Acts Chapter 11, we hear about some prophets who came to Antioch, predicting that a severe famine would spread over Rome. I’m sure this led them to pray and trust that God would provide for His people. But they also put action to their prayers: “The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.” Keep in mind – the famine had not yet begun. All they had was the word of some prophets, and they acted in faith.
PREPAREDNESS TIP #2: Practice being aware of others and their needs. In the aftermath of a disaster, the people around you will be all you have for a while until help arrives. Are they hurt? Do they need shelter? Water? First aid? Could you help people that are trapped nearby?
And before a disaster, the Holy Spirit may urge you prepare something for them ahead of time, as in Acts 11. (Please note here that listening to the Holy Spirit is critical. We can’t plan for every possible disaster and provide for everybody in need — the list would be endless. But because our Lord knows what awaits us, He can impart wisdom and guidance to us through the Spirit.)
HELPFUL RESOURCE: Christian Emergency Network. Formed after 9/11, the CEN operates under the premise that Christians should “BE AWARE of the times, Be Ready and then rally all Christians to BE THERE praying for the victims, caring for them in sensitive ways, and then sharing the Hope found only in Christ.” The CEN believes that caring for others includes attending to their physical needs in an emergency.