WHAT IS COMING ON THE EARTH
Late one evening my sister Barb (whose pictures will grace the “header” from time to time) and I were discussing the topic on many people’s minds these days: preparedness. As a general rule, we agreed, it’s a good idea to gather what we need according to the many lists available  and make a plan in case the worst happens. We live in earthquake country, for one thing, and there are also the occasional high winds and floods that wreak havoc. But there are other kinds of catastrophes that can happen, some, man-made.
It was a productive discussion; however, early the next morning I came to in befuddlement over the “what ifs.” What if communication crashes? What if supplies dry up? What if mountains are suddenly uprooted and tossed into the seas and meteors the size of Montana start pummeling good old terra firma? And various and sundry other events of biblical proportion?!
You know, the kinds of things a pre-dawn, semi-conscious, unfettered imagination finds itself conjuring…
And then for some reason I pictured this: God cowering in a fetal position in a corner of His universe sweating profusely over the power of evil running amok in creation and Him going over and over the primordial calculus for the fatal flaw…
But I had to smile over that and later share this little addendum to the previous night’s conversation with my sister: “But of course God’s not limited!” Nor, we agreed, is He intimidated—or surprised—by the course of events, as prophecy proves. And even in the midst of trouble, He provides for His people.
We traded proof in rapid fire: the miracles of the loaves and fishes , the widow’s oil , the manna and quail , and innumerable accounts from our own lives and from the lives of other believers about exact timing and other more intangible kinds of “provisions” that were/are answers to prayer.
Later, I remembered three other provision stories from the accounts of two believers who lived over seventy years ago. Stories that minister to me still.
BOTH BODY AND SOUL
Corrie ten Boom, of The Hiding Place fame , and her family, who opened their home in Amsterdam to hide Jews from Nazis during World War II, ended up in concentration camps. In her autobiographies, Corrie told of many needs met in miraculous ways during that time, but the following stand out in my mind.
The first was the story of how a tiny bottle of liquid vitamins she managed to smuggle into her barracks in the concentration camp lasted far and beyond when it should have been completely empty. The second story detailed God’s provision of an entirely different nature.
After the war Corrie traveled and spoke to many groups about her war-time experience and how God ministered in myriad ways during the ordeal. She would often offer to pray with people afterwards. At one such event, as a line of people approached her for prayer, she noticed a man who had been one of the cruelest guards in her concentration camp. She wrote of the hatred that suddenly sprung up in her heart for him upon recognizing who he was, remembering how much suffering she and others had endured at his hand. But after a quick prayer, she “felt” the love of the Lord for him as she reached out to take his hand. She realized that he needed provision of another kind, the knowledge that God could forgive him for all he had done. And Corrie marveled, once again, at what God had provided for her, too—the ability to extend her own forgiveness to him—and just in time.
But most encouraging to me, considering the length, depth, and breadth of evil rampant in the world is the story of what her older sister Betsie said as she lay dying in the camp and what she commanded Corrie to tell us: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
I think of this often when I am concerned not so much with physical needs, but with “needs of the heart,” you might put it, such as patience, understanding, compassion—and forgiveness for people in my life and for myself. For there are ways and means to obtain the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing, but it seems a greater struggle, at times, to genuinely love others, which is the crux of the commandments and the source of the power that thwarts man-made evil.
Though the world seems in a critical mess right now ginned up by those who presume that genetics equals genius and wealth equals wisdom and who steal tangible provisions from the remainder of the global population to sustain their self-described elite kind, I try to keep in mind that God is not limited to their presumptions nor their greed. He has provision of which they know not. And His provision helps us to not only survive, but thrive, not only physically, but spiritually.
I try to remember that even as He provides for my temporal survival I need not cower in some real corner of fear over certain prophetic inevitabilities and I can even continue to store up my treasures in eternity “[…] where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20) which benefits not only me, but others in need around me.
HERE AND NOW
As I discern my way through the times we live in, these two Scriptures preserve hope:
“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (from St. Paul to the Philippians, chapter 4 verse 19), and “I can do all things through Christ Jesus Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
They belong to you, too, for sustenance today.
And here is another, very surprising “provision” for the unique adversity of our times: “[…] the joy of the Lord is (our) strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
In the middle of all this mayhem, imagine that!
 Type “list of emergency supplies” for numerous lists of items to have ready just in case.
 Matthew 14:13-21
 2 Kings chapter 4
 Exodus chapter 16