The Unfolding Disaster
There is another category of crisis that can be forecast in a sense, and that is the “unfolding disaster”.
Some crises don’t just strike out of the blue one day; they begin and gather steam. Keeping an eye on national and global news, we can spot events that are clearly going to worsen and spread. We won’t be able to predict the exact day of the turning point or the milestones as they unfold, but it becomes obvious that something bad is dead ahead and there’s no getting out of it. Others may be in denial and frozen up by normalcy bias, but the studious prepper sees what is happening.
Hurricanes are a good example. We watch the news. We see one forming in the ocean. We know it might come our way, or it might not. We get ready for a hurricane, implementing the more disruptive protective measures only once it looks like it’s going to go through the neighborhood. When we first see the news, we might check our water and gasoline supply, and by the time it’s about to come ashore we’ve nailed the plywood over our windows. The closer it gets, the clearer the danger becomes.
Another example of this is our now-collapsing national economy. Simple mathematics says that accumulating enormous debts can’t go on forever. (“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” Herbert Stein’s Law) Some trends are unsustainable. Some can continue for far longer than anyone ever dreamed possible.
Sooner or later, so it seems, a turning point will be reached beyond which our economy will cease to function. That will be bad. We can see it coming. We just don’t really know when. However, the closer it gets, the clearer the danger will become, and the more specific our protective measures will be.
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see that undermining Constitutional government, the rule of law, and Biblical morality will eventually turn our country into a third-world powder keg of crises and breakdowns, ending in martial law or Civil War, unless of course some Black Swan event (or divine intervention) turns things in an unforeseen direction.
You and I know well that our country cannot murder 50,000,000+ babies, approve and promote sodomite rights and perversions (LGBTQXYZ… whatever…), and endanger Israel, empower and support their enemies, and attempt to divide the land and Jerusalem without incurring some divine judgment. This is an unfolding disaster and something bad is plainly coming.
The Sudden Disaster
Just this week I saw a headline that said if there were to be a huge solar EMP, we Earthlings might have as little as 12 hours’ notice to brace for impact.It makes me wonder how long a warning message might wend its way through the bowels of our federal bureaucracies before depositing a tepid warning before the American people? Regardless, I check on solar activity regularly and get email alerts. So, if something pops off, I’ve got a huge head start on the sheeple, time to circle the wagons, gas everything up, and gather the family.
This is a special case of the unfolding disaster. It’s one where you can see the avalanche has been triggered and you know you have just seconds before the snow arrives. It’s a Black Swan whose impact is delayed enough to give you a useful amount of time. The prepper here has a critical advantage: We learn something has popped off and, unlike most of the American population, we leap into knowledgeable, focused, functional action. We don’t freeze. We don’t panic. We don’t flail or stampede or pout. We have a plan for situations like this, and we coolly put that plan into action.
You’ve seen photos of refugees wading through floodwater, balancing a case of beer on something that floats or carrying off a pillowcase full of photos and memorabilia. That’s not going to be us!
To make use of the short interval provided by this type of incident, we need to keep a “weather eye” on the events of the day. We need to have most of our preps ready and done (so we’re generally ready for whatever may come). We need to have a clear, written step-by-step plan that everyone involved knows about. The more chaotic the situation, the more structured your plan must be.
What We CAN Do
- We can identify general “high threat” periods, when the likelihood of a disaster or crisis seems higher to us, based on observable factors. (These may be still highly subjective.) National holidays are good examples. We can take additional precautions during that time, and take the opportunity to review our preparations.
- We can identify the unfolding disaster– the slow-motion calamity that has already begun and is gathering steam. The closer it gets, the more detail can be seen (a photography metaphor!), and the better we’ll be able to prepare for the impact.
- We can identify the sudden disaster when something has snapped and is rapidly triggering other problems, giving us critical minutes or hours to respond ahead of the panicked masses.
We can not predict the future. Black Swans can take us by surprise. But, still, we have some hopeful and helpful strategies.
Is there anything else we can do? Yes. Definitely, yes!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
“In all thy ways acknowledge Him…” (Proverbs 3:5-6) means consulting God, including God, inviting God into every decision and every part of our lives as each day unfolds, “practicing the presence of God” as advocated by Brother Lawrence.
The corresponding promise of God is that when we include God in our day, not just once a day but in “all (our) ways”, He will “direct our path”. Think of it; the only person who actually knows in detail what is going to happen today, tomorrow, next month, and next year is offering to guide us through the maze of choices and challenges ahead. His providential hand will even anticipate our inevitable failures, bad choices, and shortcomings as He guides us from behind the scenes, if we will trust Him completely.
It doesn’t mean that nothing hard or bad will happen. We might still suffer and struggle, but God will be with us and guide us, and He will use it for good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ” (Romans 8:28) and
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Certainly we must do what is wise; we must do our part to anticipate what seems likely, what seems needed, but we also seek and trust the hand of God more than own wisdom. (“…lean not on your own understanding…”) Its humility time; God knows best!
He wants us to de-stress, to focus on Him, to rest, to find our calm center of the storm in Him. We can be prepared and should be working diligently toward becoming better prepared, but it must happen at the same time we are trusting God. If you’ve never yet begun a relationship with Jesus, now’s the time! He loved you enough to die your death on the cross so that you could be reconciled to God. Trust him! Read Colossians 1:19-22 and John 3:16.
Preparations do not protect. Practically everything we’ve collected can disappear in a house fire or a brazen theft. A decade of prepping can be undone in a heartbeat, literally. A dozen things could steal our health without warning. We do have our part to do. We are responsible to make reasonable and wise preparations, and to build resilience into our lives. However, we cannot and should not depend on those provisions.
The only sane approach is this: trust God, and be prepared. They’re not mutually exclusive, you know. Believe me; keeping our eyes on Jesus is the harder of the two tasks, and it is the most important. We can have all the stuff, skills, and community, but if our minds and marriages and relationship with God fall apart we will be forfeiting the most valuable survival asset of all!
So diligently make your preparations, build resiliency, and flexibility and depth to your resources. The times are bad. There’s no denying that, and September bears watching, but how will it affect you? No one knows! However, there is One who does know, and He is making you an amazing offer– to guide you through.
You’d be crazy to pass up an offer like that! Trust God. Be Prepared. We can do both.
“…for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12