Are You Ready For What Is To Come?

Have you ever been walking outside, and all of a sudden, a strange odor permeates the air around you? Sadly, what is seeping into the air around us is the smell of fear. There are news stories of pandemics, market crashes, bank closings, quarantines, and even incinerators burning the dead. Everywhere we turn are inundated with pictures filled with people in panic that may bring fear into our lives. We hear fear in the voices of our coworkers and loved ones as YouTube, and the news drone on and on with bad news.  Articles and posts Facebook detail the latest crisis’s and bring fright to our door. News reports detail the latest big box stores that have no stock because fearfulness is driving people to go out and wildly buy which causes store shelves in several parts of the country to be bare. We see merchants price gouging and selling medical masks for $100, all while the national news tells us there are not enough masks for the hospital workers. Christian social media sites are predicting the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding the earth. We are left wondering what will happen next? Everywhere we look, we see the root of fear springing up that has us trapped in its black, gnarly, thorns. Who can come against the ugliness of fear with its companion’s anxiety and dread? Fear, anxiety, and dread are formidable, and many courageous people have tried to overcome these fearsome foes.

The only way to be free of trap of fear, anxiety and dread is with the One Who is Peace. Who has fire in His eyes, and His mouth is the living Word, the One Who is the Almighty, the King of Kings. Jesus, Who is the Prince of Peace, will destroy fear. Just say His name for the name of the Lord is a strong tower (Proverbs 18:10). Jesus, you are my strong tower. Say it with me, Jesus, you are my strong tower. Say it louder, JESUS, YOU ARE MY STRONG TOWER. God’s Word offers us peace, in Psalm 23, it says when we walk through the valley of the shadow of the death, He is with us, He is our rod in our staff. Read Psalm 23, read it out loud, and declare to the enemy- to fear, to anxiety, to dread that you will fear no evil because Jesus has conquered them. He is King, and they will flee. I will be strong and courageous because Jesus is the conqueror, and I am His child.

Psalm 91 is so beautiful as it talks about being sheltered with His wings, being nestled close to Him, covered by His feathers, and this intimate chapter states that pestilence shall not come near our dwelling (Psalm 91).

So what do we do with all of this?  What do we do with the frightening images and news that we hear? Or what about the who people wearing masks and plastic gloves do we brush it all off? Do we laugh it all off and just go about our everyday life? What do we do?

First, we need to go to God and repent for any fear or anxiety that we have allowed to spring up in us from all this global turmoil. We are commanded to pray and not be anxious but to REJOICE IN THE LORD (Philippians 4:1).

Secondly, we need to repent for any selfishness that we have and use this as a time to live each day as this could be our last. When I was walking through an old village from the 1700’s I noticed an old graveyard. As I carefully walked through the old cemetery I saw that many of the stones listed the husband, the wife, the son, the daughter and the baby all on the same stone and the dates listed showed they had died at around the same time probably from the same illness. Can you imagine that whole families being wiped out? Life was different centuries ago, but what they had and we need is the understanding that life is short and could end at any time. I believe this led the people to a dependence on God with the beautiful awe that life is precious. It is the very uncertainty of how long we are given that should drive us to make our lives matter by living purposely for our God. The knowledge that our life is but a vapor should cause us to strive to cherish time with God, our family, and friends.

Thirdly, we need to prepare, and to do that, we have to follow His precepts and understand our life is in His hands. Psalm 91 states we are protected by the Almighty. Yes, we are gloriously sheltered by God yet still, we have to realize that it is,

Hebrews 9:27

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

When it is our time to go, we will go, but until that unknown time nothing shall come against us, and whatever happens, God knows our situation and will be our peace.

So how do we prepare when we do not know what or when or if something is coming or if it will even affect us, our families, our churches, our communities? We hear in the news, from the government and even friends, that we should be prepared with food, water, and even a safe place. So, what can I do for my loved ones? Naturally the first place a Christian goes to when there is trouble is the Holy Word of the infinite God who walks through time and space. So, I went to prayer and asked the Holy Spirit what the Bible said about being prepared, prepping, or getting ready for a crisis, and the Holy Spirit brought to my mind, Noah. Hmm, Noah I thought, what does Noah have to do with me, and our current predicament?.

As I began to read Genesis the Holy Spirit opened the eyes of my understanding, and I realized that Noah is an example of a person who was prepared, or in our modern-day terms, we would say that Noah was a prepper. As I pondered and prayed over the example of Noah, I thought one might say that Noah was the first prepper in the Bible. Why would I say that? Well Noah did build an ark, a safe place for his family some would call that a shelter for an upcoming emergency.  Noah bought, gathered, and stored enough food for himself, his family and the animals he would be responsible for in the future.

Noah was preparing for the ultimate emergency of the day or even one of the greatest catastrophes the world has faced. His whole world was about to be flooded not only did it affect all the countries in the world like the pandemic or socioeconomic or food crisis’s that are predicted to affect our world, but it affected all the families of the world, all the people that were living, and all the living creatures. Like us Noah had to prepare for the unseen future, and out of all the people on the earth, only Noah and his family were saved. The eight of them were saved because they listened to the Word of the Lord. In preparation for this world-wide event what did Noah do? He listened to the Word of the Lord. Now we’re going to look and see what the Lord said to Noah, in Genesis Six we find that God told Noah to build an Ark, to put rooms in it, and to make it with the pitch on the inside and the outside. God told Noah to store enough food for all the animals in his family now we know it lasted at least ten months according to,

Genesis 8:5-14

And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth [month], on the first [day] of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.”

We will mention that it does not say that the Lord instructed Noah to gather water we must surmise that the rainfall would give an abundant source of water. So, to solve that problem, I went to Answers in Genesis. The most likely scenario is there was water storage on top of the arc, but it does not say. Still, we do know that the rain would have provided with a lot of water for all the food and the bathing in the animals we found out that Noah survived in the next chapters because the Bible details the Ark landed on Ararat. We know that he survived because Noah listened to the word of the Lord to build an Ark, and he stored food for his family and all the creatures.  https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/how-much-water-was-on-board-the-ark/

The Lord gave Noah specific instructions on how to build the Ark.

Genesis 6:13-14

“13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the Ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”

Noah stored enough food for all the animals and his family for over ten months.

Genesis 6:19-22

“19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every [sort] shalt thou bring into the Ark, to keep [them] alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every [sort] shall come unto thee, to keep [them] alive. 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather [it] to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”

Noah and his family survived the greatest cataclysm known to humanity so how do we breakdown these precepts from the Word of God to help us out? Or how can a Bible account from thousands of years ago help me and my family. We are about to find out so keep reading.

We know that Noah was the head of the family, and in our world that could be single moms or it could be parents’ or grandparents or even providers of guardians. So as heads of households, we need to prepare for our families. Noah’s first step was to make a place of safety or in his case an ark. Make a plan with your family to meet at a secure location. That can be a room in our family home or a secure site that you all could meet that would be safe, such as a friend’s house, a grandparents house, a place that the whole family knows where to meet if communications go down. In most situations, we can provide a safe place in our own homes.

If it is a pandemic type situation, there are many websites you can visit, but simply having some plastic and duct tape so doorways can be sealed up by using two sheets of plastic to make a temporary covering over the doors of ill people or with even doors with outside access. Sounds weird or farfetched, remember Noah sealed the Ark tight with pitch. Ask the Lord how to make your place safe, and the Lord will direct you to the tools, methods, and products.

Noah’s second step was to get the food. This will come under food and necessities and do not forget your pet’s favorite food, and goodies. So when you go to the store, try to buy ahead not to take more than your family will need but be sure to fill up with some non-perishable cans and staples that you can have on hand. We know that water is a necessity so here is a link to an article by the CDC stating we need 1 gallon per person and pet of water for at least a three-day supply. So, a family of 3 with one pet would store 4 gallons of water a day for three days would be 12-gallon minimum.  https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/prepare.html

Another concern that is listed on many sites is that we may find some shortages of prescription medications coming in late March or April because many of the components of our products come from China and India. Refill all medications, for pets too, as there will be a shortage of medications, because many of the ingredients come from India or China, and the government of India has stopped exporting many components for antibiotics without prior government approval. https://www.foxnews.com/world/drug-shortages-india-china-coronavirus

These items are listed under necessities, and now is an excellent time to stock up your medicine cabinet with a thermometer-[make sure it works], cough drops, cough syrup, Tylenol, or kids Tylenol and Gatorade. If you have children or special needs people then I recommend favorite books, games, flashlights and crafts will make a great addition to your safety stash. Do not forget the batteries for games and flashlights. Take time to read the following list on this article to see if any of the shortages will affect you or your family, and please get the needed items while they are still available. https://www.theorganicprepper.com/coronavirus-products-from-china/

We are still in step two so make sure you have plenty of cleaning supplies like hand wash, dish soap, laundry detergent, plastic garbage bags, disinfectant, or wet wipes, and paper towels etc. Keep your counters extra clean, clean the doorknobs, faucet handles, and remember wash your hands.  Having extra toilet paper is always a good idea, I don’t know about you, but I like toilet paper. The following is a practical article that lists many things good to have in an emergency situation. https://www.theorganicprepper.com/how-to-prepare-quarantine/

This article lists many suppliers who will have shortages and not the individual products. I included this link so you can so if any of your favorite products are on this list. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andriacheng/2020/02/20/chinas-coronavirus-outbreak-threatens-to-send-global-supply-chain-into-a-tailspin-pg-alone-has-17600-items-that-could-be-affected/#5ad3ab05156f

For  ideas on what supplies to have on hand here is the link to a PDF by FEMA and the Red Cross. This PDF is on preparing for an emergency, building an emergency kit, and what to have in your home for emergency items. https://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f%26web.pdf

Noah listened to God and went into the Ark as he was told by God (Genesis 7:9). You will know when it is time to stay in your safe place. You will know when it is time to stay home and out of public areas when sickness happens near your town, or school and public events are closed. The biggest thing is to ask the Lord for wisdom and do not fear God will protect you, after all God saved Noah’s family, why not yours (James 1:5).

Hebrews 11:7

 “7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

This is a quick warning for the head of households that God loves you and wants the leaders to take care of their families as Noah did. Be a Noah of your household and dare to take action to care for your family and those in your household. The Bible states in,

I Timothy 5:8  

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

To reiterate important steps: have a prearranged place for your family to meet, and in your safe room/house/ark put food, water, medications, necessities, pet supplies, and first aid supplies. Remember good and bad times come in our lives, the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). However, we can lessen the bite of the bad times when we take heed to Biblical principles, plan ahead and prepare for our families specific needs.  Brothers and sisters the times ahead will be full of hardships, I implore you to get supplies that will keep you and your family safe. If you can financially afford it get extra food to help those in need. We pray that events do not escalate to emergencies, but if they do we pray that you are ready, and that you and your family will be safe and sound. Remember nothing you prepare for will be wasted, you will still be able to use the supplies in the future, and at the very least now you are aware of how to prepare for a crisis that may come your way.

The same God who saved Noah still saves today. His name is Jesus, and His name is a tower of strength. Praise His holy name, that no matter what comes our way we are not to fear because we are saved and loved by our Father God who rejoices over us.

Proverbs 18:10

“10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”

Zephaniah 3:16-17

“16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.

17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

Psalm 23

“1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

 

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