Prepare or Panic?

“Nobody saw this coming!”

Actually, some did. They have warned for years of pandemics, wars, weather-related disasters, stock market meltdowns, and other “Black Swan” events. But our normalcy bias doesn’t let us see past the next paycheck, and our grocer’s fully stocked shelves lure us into complacency. So rather than mock “preppers,” as fear mongers, maybe we can learn something from them.

What does the Bible say? First nothing should be done out of terror or insecurity. If God numbers the hairs on our head and tracks the trajectory of falling sparrows, we can trust in His goodness (Matthew 6:25-34). Wise preparation does not require a cave in Idaho. But just as we are spiritually ready for the coming of Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:4; 1 John 2:28), we should be prepared physically and psychologically for other things as well.

Solomon says to “divide” or distribute to seven portions, and even eight, “for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land” (Ecclesiastes 11:2). Much of this unique book of the Bible shows us that all that we do (living and giving) must be done in faith because life “under the sun” is both fragile and uncertain. Only fools disregard the future; the wise do all they can to be ready for emergencies. With the wise woman of Proverbs 31 who has her family ready for winter (v. 21), we, too, can “laugh at the days to come” (v. 25).

If even ants gather in the summer to survive the winter (Proverbs 6:6-8), shouldn’t we be as diligent at setting aside money and supplies to care for ourselves and others (2 Corinthians 9:10, 11)? If this crisis caught us off guard, hopefully the next will not. Christians should be leading the way in practical wisdom.


“Father, help us be prepared for the coming of Jesus and the coming of disaster as well. We will not be afraid, for nothing takes you by surprise, and we are in your hands. Amen.”

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