Scripture and history warns us that life is not a smooth path from the cradle to the grave. It's a well-worn path that all must travel, and for some it is an expressway with regular rest stops and no red lights.
For most of us it is a rocky, bumpy, debris-shewn roller coaster ride - seat belts are required.
For the billions who travel on the well-worn path, it is best to prepare for the worst. And in this respect, God has indeed provided the safety belts ... us.
We are the straps that help us cling to life when we are about to get thrown out of the car. Our family, friends, neighbors and communities grab hold of our ankles and keep us in our seats. It doesn't mean that our hair won't get mussed or our clothes torn or even wind up missing a limb or two. But for the most part, we remain.
Over the course of millennia the Church has been an important link in this support system and, although weakened by liberal doctrine and lack of faith, it still remains a vital component for survival when SHTF.
Author James Jay Carafano (see below) has published an e-book, "Surviving the End: A Practical Guide for Everyday Americans in the Age of Terror.
" In his book Mr. Carafano states:
"... there are two crucial moments that determine whether someone will survive a disaster. The first is the “golden hour,” when a seriously injured individual needs to receive emergency medical care in order to survive. The next tipping point is the 72-hour mark. Individuals who can’t get water or are exposed to harsh weather for up to three days will likely die.
But what happens if the crisis is extended and ongoing and the government is unable to provide assistance in the wake of a catastrophic event?"
This is where the rubber meets the road. We have seen this in disasters before. The federal or state government will step in, but they can be slow, cumbersome beasts. Local services - fire, police, Red Cross - are the fastest government responders in an emergency. But in the face of overwhelming major events they are a mile wide and an inch deep. And again, where do we turn to when all levels of government are reduced to helplessness?
"There is a pretty broad consensus that faith-based organizations are among the top performers during a crisis. The tasks they perform, such as supplying food, clothing, and shelter to those in need, or providing mental health responses for everything from stress and grief counseling to recovery from spousal abuse, can be immensely valuable for communities struggling to survive in the wake of a catastrophe. Being connected to a faith-based organization could well be critical for staying alive when nature or men do their worst."
In my church we assign tasks to assist members who require assistance. It may only require a single man with a snow shovel or a month of meals or a squad of men under the leadership of someone who knows carpentry to make repairs. We elect deacons who have proven that they can provide leadership and possess a servant's heart. We are beginning to discuss what we can do if a prolonged emergency takes place.
But an emergency is something that occurs out of the ordinary. What do we do when the extraordinary becomes the norm? The next step after that is this: what do we as a church do if government collapses and there is no one to respond? Grocery stores will have nothing but empty shelves in a matter of hours. What if electric service disappears? Natural gas? Petroleum?
The answer is this, we have God's grace and we have us. I truly believe the End Times are approaching and our response should not be to bury our heads in the sand or to sit around waiting for Jesus to turn the lights back on. We must prepare to take care of each other if the need arises.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
1 John 3:17-18
But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
About the Author:
James Jay Carafano, Heritage Foundation’s leading expert on national security and foreign policy challenges, is an accomplished historian, author and teacher. Carafano is adjunct professor at Georgetown University and the Institute of World Politics and has served as a visiting professor at National Defense University, assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., director of military studies at the Army's Center of Military History, and fleet professor at the U.S. Naval War College.