I just got back in the office after an unexpected longer stay at Spring Mill State Park for Memorial Day with Laura and the kids. I say, “unexpected,” because we were planning on being back home later on Monday, but a tire blew on our car, and we had no spare. That’s right, I am a man, yet I forgot to check and see if we had a spare tire. When the tow truck showed up, the truck driver said, “So, you didn’t check to see if you had a spare tire?” “Nope. Sure didn’t.” I felt like talking about the Indy 500 or Pacers basketball just to let him know that I’m not totally a failure to the male species.
What a valuable lesson to learn on preparedness. We tend not to think about emergency back up plans until we need them, and then it’s too late. And we wind up stuck on the side of the road. Sounds like a good metaphor for life in general. Be prepared, or you can wind up stuck on the side of the road.
The Bible has a lot to say about preparedness. We are supposed to be prepared “to make a defense to anyone who asks [us] for a reason for the hope that we have” (1 Peter 3:15). The Hebrews were to prepare themselves and their provisions as they were to enter the land of Canaan (Joshua 1:11). Solomon instructed the Israelites to prepare for building the house of the Lord which would be “great and wonderful” (2 Chronicles 2:9). All throughout the Old Testament, people prepared sacrifices to offer to the Lord in worship (e.g., Judges 13:16; Psalm 5:3). In the New Testament, John the Baptist went forth to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Matthew 3:3; 11:10).
What I find most amazing, however, are not the things we are to prepare, but the things God has already prepared for those who love Him—things that we cannot even imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9). Jesus has prepared a place for us in eternity (John 14:2-3). God has prepared “vessels of wrath for destruction” (Romans 9:22) and “vessels of mercy” (Romans 9:23). He has prepared us for eternity and given us the Spirit as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 5:5). God even created us in Christ Jesus for good works, “which [He] prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
God has not designed us to be stuck on the side of the road spiritually for lack of preparation. “Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). If we face life ill-prepared, it is not the fault of our heavenly Father; we are to blame, because we have not allocated what God has provided. He makes all things possible (Philippians 4:13).
The warning comes to us in Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet your God.” The Good News is that God has given us every provision through our Lord Jesus Christ, not only to meet Him, but also to walk in Him for all eternity. God has equipped us “with everything good that [we] may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:21).
Stranded on a roadside without a spare tire? My fault. Stranded spiritually? Not God’s fault. My fault. Will I allow Him to do His equipping work in my life so that I may do His will, acknowledging that He is working in me, which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ?
I’m glad I had a little wake-up call on the side of Highway 37 in central Indiana. I hope this can be a little wake-up call for you as well. Be prepared, for God is definitely preparing for you.