We are prepping for heaven. With that in mind, we feel and think that stockpiling food for an uncertain future on this earth is without a place in our family life. Here are our reasons why:
- It’s not Biblical. Luke 12:16-59 clearly shows that planning for the future on earth with stockpiling isn’t part of God’s will. He, rather, wants us to “store up riches in heaven.”
- Empty grocery shelves now leave people hungry now. While some may say the “supply chain” problems are “macro problems” that have little to do with individual people, it’s clear that if the basements of most Americans are stuffed full of food, it means the grocery shelves are empty… leaving few options for people who need to eat now.
- Children learn by example. When children see that we’re stockpiling food in the basement, they learn little about trusting in God and rather learn that we must trust in ourselves and our clever thinking. They also see that a stockpile of food must be kept, whilst observing that it doesn’t get used. They do not appreciate and be thankful for each meal. This type of example disrupts the formation of the conscience of children.
- Trusting God to provide. God is ultimately the one who wills all things. With a whole basement of food, you could still die in a car accident today. Trust in God becomes practical when we reject popular thought like prepping.
- Children waste when there’s abundance. We currently have 5 gallons of milk in the fridge — a little less than two week’s worth, as the milk pick up at the local farm is twice a month. Well, my son didn’t drink his milk, and it spoiled as it sat on the table all afternoon. “Why can’t I have more? We have more.” I explained that we have to be good stewards of what we’re given and not waste, even if it appears we have much. This problem is magnified when it comes to large stockpiles of food: the children never experience any want, and don’t realize that life is anything but abundance.
- Will you really be able to cook it? If you think that food won’t be available for purchase, how can we believe that there will be energy for cooking? Or the skill of cooking with no electricity? Is it practical?
- Is the food going to spoil before you eat it? There are very few preppers who properly understand rotating a food supply and actually using it. Rather, food that probably wouldn’t get purchased is put away, and it’s not desirable to eat unless there’s no other choice. So, with other choices, it’s put aside and spoils.
- If nuns and brothers take a vow of poverty, why should lay people stockpile? They live a more perfect life. So, poverty must be a way to be more perfect, more like God.
- Look to the saints. In time of famine, the saints have trusted God. St Elizabeth of Hungary gave away all the bread in the house to the hungry. By the time her mother-in-law tattled on her, and her husband came to scold her, all the bread had miraculously reappeared. St Nicholas of Myra promised a ship captain that if he sold the corn to him, that when he arrived at the next destination, he would be missing none. And so it went: God replenished the corn supply in the boat before it arrived at the next port. St Francis brought a few loaves of bread on a ship as his own fare. When the ship when off course, and the food supply was wanting, then St Francis offered his fare to the sailors. They laughed until they fell over. Then, several weeks later, realized that St Francis was right. His bread fed everyone for the rest of the journey. In 3 Kings, we read two stories of how God provided bread enough for Elijah, and then also a widow and her son, during famine.
- What if you need to flee? Mary and Joseph leave us an example with the flight into Egypt with the infant Jesus. They had no time to pack, let alone prep, and God provided for their every need along the way.
I have been doing careful thinking with each purchase to be sure that I am not:
- Distrusting God.
- Inadvertantly taking food away from someone else who needs it.
- Living in materialism.
In fact, before my family got so big that I started buying in bulk to save money, which is one way that I need to be very careful I’m not buying to prep, I was accustomed to let our refrigerator and cabinets get down to empty. Very empty. It is a good exercise in poverty to counter the abundance in which we live. Now, I focus more on gratitude to God for each time He gives me a full cart of groceries.