A couple of days before the first COVID-19 case was detected in Minnesota, my husband came home with a suggestion he had heard on MPR. The advice was to prepare for at least two weeks of quarantine.
Ironically, I had just spent the previous two months whittling down any extra supplies to the bare minimum. I had been feeling convicted of hoarding and felt God was asking me to be more reasonable on what I had on hand. Especially since some things, like food in the freezer, can end up getting forgotten in a corner, becoming unfit for anything but the compost bin.
However, since my husband generally has to be begged to go into the basement during a tornado warning – he would rather watch for it from the deck! – I figured, if he wants me to stock up, I’ll stock up. So to Sams Club, Target, Cub and Fresh and Natural, oh, and Walmart, I went. I prayed about how much to buy, as I come from a long line of hoarders (on one side – quite the opposite on the other). Now I know why God had me practice having less on hand. I hate to think of how much I would have bought had he not already been prepping me.
So I made sure that we had at least two weeks of supplies on hand: toilet paper, paper towels, a lot of Kleenex due to spring allergy season, Zyrtec, canned fruit and vegetables – haven’t eaten those in years, Spam, frozen and canned chicken, rice, dried and frozen potato products, you get the picture.
I tried not to break into any of those stores until this week. But as soon as I started heading down the stairs to the basement pantry in pursuit of the first can of fruit, tension started building in my gut.
Based on how things went in China, we will most likely have to practice social distancing for at least two months, not two weeks. I was feeling woefully underprepared. Based on the food I had on hand before the stock up buying, plus the extras I had just bought, we had enough to get through at least three weeks, probably a month, but two months?
Grocery stores near me come and go on what supplies they have and when they have time for order pickup or delivery. I just don’t see the point in going to the store with hundreds of other people when we are supposed to not meet in groups of more than 10. But lately delivery or pickup options are 3-4 days out and teenage staples like tortilla chips are getting hard to come by.
As I looked at the boxes of canned fruit and veggies, my natural instinct was to run up the basement stairs, jump in the car and run around trying to get another month’s worth of supplies. But God said, no, trust me.
So I thought, well, God, if you aren’t going to let me buy more food, maybe you can work some miracles like you did in the feeding of the 5,000.
Wouldn’t you know, as I opened the box of canned oranges, I realized that I had not understood exactly what was in the box. I thought it was 10 single-serve containers of oranges, when actually it was ten 3.5 serving cans of oranges!
God tripled my canned oranges!
Ok, so He didn’t actually triple the cans, but He showed me that I had more on hand than I thought, which produced the same effect on my nerves as if He had physically tripled them. As I write this, I am realizing that maybe He did actually change the cans, since I really thought I had bought a different amount.
Regardless, God showed me that He truly will care for us during this challenging time. I really don’t need to fear.
He did allow me to order some fresh fruits and veggies, that will be ready for pickup in three days. Oh, and, to my husband’s horror, we had run out of Miracle Whip, so that and some Cholula sauce, another new staple of my husband’s, got added to the order.
So we’ll continue to see what miracles God works with the supplies He asked me to buy and enjoy new, fresh items when He oks that, too.
Do I still feel nervous at times? Definitely. But I am slowly learning to trust and obey and let His peace fill me.
As He was able to miraculously feed the 5,000, he’ll be able to feed us four.