That is a word that has kept popping up in conversations, news articles and conservative radio chats.
10 years ago, I wouldn't even of had a clue of what that word meant. But as the years pass and age brings wisdom.... you learn a few things!
Hubby and I have taken an interest in the whole mindset of stockpiling. With some research, we have discovered you will never know who has a "stocked" pantry. Possibly more than you realize... or better yet, more people who are willing to admit.
But why? Why do people insist on packing their homes with goods and grains? With the exception of clinical hoarders,...many reasons!! Religion places a huge factor. Some faiths encourage emergency supplies such as food and water for families for 6 months to a year. Do they know something spiritually more than most? Of coarse not.
Some store up their harvest to get them thru the winter. Yes, even in this great land of America, thousands of people live off the land and rely on their own resources to supply their needs.
And then their are the others... for emergencies, economic collapse, religious persecution, and world turmoil. The list is endless. Regardless of the reasons, as Christians... do you ever wonder if its "bad" to stockpile?
In the bible, we read the story of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Who can forget the manna that was dropped from heaven daily. If they stockpiled some, it would rot. Instead they had to wait for their daily bread. (Exodus 16)
We all know this bible verse:
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
And lets remember Jesus telling us in Matthew directly NOT to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough problems of its own!(Matthew 6:25)
With that being said... lets flip the coin....
Whether its a hurricane, tornado, a nor'eastern or a winter blizzard, we have all found ourselves at the store with a cart full of milk, bread and eggs. Come on admit it... I, for one, grew up watching the weather. Growing up on Long Island, we had hurricanes in the summer and blizzards in the winter. At the first sign of a storm we were all out stocking up on essentials. Emergency kits were re-stocked each season and checklists were made. Before city water became popular, washing machines were filled up with water and bathtubs were scrubbed clean to hold water. Hurricane Gloria in 1985 hit us hard. Were we prepared? Not as much as we should have been. No power for almost 2 weeks and trees down all over our property made me thankful I was 9 years old with very little memory of it.
Unfortunately, I was an adult with small children during the widespread power outage of 2003 that affected the whole northeastern part of the US and parts of Canada. It was a day I will never forget. A HOT STICKY summer afternoon on Long Island. Within one second everything went dead. With 9/11 still fresh in our minds, the block/town/city/Island was in a state of panic. No means of communication. No way to buy food, no way to get money out of the ATM and little food in the cabinets (it was close to grocery day). What little food we had could not be prepared and everything in the fridge spoiled quickly. Cell phone lines were jammed. We had no idea what happened. Rumors were flying. Hospitals went into state emergency procedures. Family members went "missing." We were, as my husband eloquently put it...
CAUGHT WITH OUR PANTS DOWN!!!!
Praise God our power went on and no major world crisis happened. But the memories of that day have forever left an imprint in my mind.
At the first sign of a cold, do we not go and prepare our bodies for the fight? Medicines, rest, fluids all seem to take a front seat in our lives.
Our ancestors, who were not as blessed as we were, stored up grains, hay and the sweat of their gardens to last thru the winter. Was that considered stockpiling? Cupboards filled with canned goods that had to last for months on end... they prepared for the future and always opened their home to those in need.
With the topic of stockpiling of great interest to us, we began "interviewing" people we knew who did in fact choose to store up. Why do they do it? Is it a lack of faith? How do they do it? We discovered the endless supply of stores out their that cater to this very popular ideal.
At first, questions about their ways were not always answered as enthusiastically as they were asked. I assume this is because of the harsh responses they usually get. But once they realized I meant no harm, my curious itch was scratched!
By no means did anyone I conversed with have a lack of faith. Nor did their "supply" go above and beyond anything ridiculous.
Walking away, I had a different perspective on the topic that I once thought was crazy. A fine line between trusting our most wonderful God who DOES in fact supply our needs AND making full use of the resources (that includes news, media, common sense, biblical prophesy) that He puts in front of us began to take a remarkable balance.
I was able to see both sides of the coin in situations that I clearly laid out for you above. Do we not take the medicine that helps us get better WHILE we pray for healing? I began to think... are they really crazy? Are they not just a bit more prepared than most? What a great opportunity to be able to minister to others during a time of great need. Out of a disastrous situation comes a family that is not afraid of the darkness that might be to come.... for they are prepared for the situation ahead of them. They know what to do from having spent the time learning . They are able to help others, and in turn spread the love of Jesus Christ. What a great way to responsibly prepare and provide for your family for anything that might be to come (or not come prayerfully.)
We also learned that everyones stock was different based on the needs of that particular family. Some could survive for weeks, months. Others for years. There are books that teach basic food prep without modern devices needed. Out of curiosity, Hubby and I purchased some books. What amazing reads... and what knowledge. Remember... no internet to quickly google! For those that live near coasts or in tornado alley, weather radios and H.A.M radios were just as important as clean water supply. They have stores they go to such as Emergency Essentials and Shelf Reliance that makes food rotation easy and 100 lb wheat berries easy to ship. A whole "underground" world. Or perhaps its not as underground as you think?
Our newfound knowledge brought great late night discussions between hubby and I. We compared notes and shared what we both read in our books. We really enjoyed learning about this "different" way of thinking.
Most importantly, we learned that no one is right or wrong. There is no certain answer. Its personal and it all depends on how low you want your pants down when you are caught!