I (lovingly) call my 3rd child “Bucket head” because during the summer he frequently walks around the property with a bucket on his head– his mighty armor that can stay any blade and foil any foe. I find myself this time of year wishing for my own head bucket- one that will protect me from all the nagging concerns, worries, and fears that come up when the year has yet to release any of it’s trials upon me. I think it’s safe to say that most homesteaders are not immune to the What-if’s. Especially over the last couple years, the What-if’s have been more prevalent in my inner circle than any virus ever thought about being.
As a discipline of not letting anxiety rule my heart and mind, I made a practice of writing down my What-if’s in my journal, praying over them, asking God to lead me to His word for answers and guidance, and I thought, as a blessing to you who may find yourself with a stout case of the What-if’s at the start of the new year, I’d walk you through some of the What-if’s I’m currently experiencing.
1) What if the goats (or whatever livestock you have) aren’t pregnant?
I know that to some, this may seem like an odd one for the top of my list. Why not something about health, employment, finances, housing? Well, truthfully, this one question impacts all those other areas for us. If our goats are not pregnant, that means we’ve spent $350 on importing genetics for naught, $100 in gasoline to pick up the insemination straws, wasted 8 cumulative hours on preparation and procedure, and will spend approximately $225 on feeding goats this year without the added benefit of saving $2,000 on raw dairy for our allergy-plagued family members– likely more considering inflation. Not to mention the fact that we’d also lose potential income from sale of kids, milk, or soap. So this is a big financial and dietary what-if for us. What does God’s Word say about it?
- Money isn’t my Master (Matt 6:24)
- Anxiety can’t provide my needs (Matt 6:27; Luke 12:25)
- God owns everything anyway (Psalm 50:10; Rom 11:35)
- God delights to give good gifts to His Children (Matt 7:11)
- Seek first His Kingdom (Matt 6:33)
2.) What if the garden doesn’t yield a substantial harvest this year?
What if all the planning and planting on my part are no match for unpredictable weather patterns, swarms of pests, or blight and disease? What if we do everything “right” and it still goes pear shaped? What does God’s Word say about it?
- God supplies the growth (2 Cor 9:10)
- God is sovereign (Col 1:16-17)
- God is my provider (Psalm 34:10)
- God delights in my prayers of dependence on Him for provision (James 4:1-2)
3.) What if there are complications in delivery or with Baby’s health?
What if because of my age, there are complications with this pregnancy? (There aren’t now, and I have no reason to believe there will be later, but there’s always that possibility) What if complications arise that prevent the kind of natural, home delivery I want? What if there are medical needs or issues that require hospitalization? If hospitals are as overwhelmed by virus cases as the media purports, is there substantial risk in birthing my new born in such an environment around a plethora of people and nurses who come in contact with severely ill people every day? What does God’s Word say about it?
- God knows me and my child intimately (Jeremiah 1:5)
- My child is precious to God. (Mark 10:14)
- My God heals and sustains (Exodus 15:26)
- Circumstances, good or bad, serve to glorify the Lord. (John 9:1-3)
- Trust in God, and He will lead. (Prov 3:5-6)
- The Holy Spirit has and will give me convictions in all areas where I seek His guidance (John 16:13)
- No one is immune to suffering, but Christ conquered it all. (John 16:33)
4.) What if we lose our primary means of income?
I think this is probably the one a lot of wives and mothers (and husbands and fathers) are realistically concerned about after the last two years. This has already been the reality for a lot of people. How would my family handle that situation? What does God’s Word say about it?
- Christ is enough (2 Cor 12:9)
- I can be content with very little (Prob 15:16-17)
- My diligence in being a helpmeet will be rewarded (Prov 31:10-31)
- God will meet my needs (Phil 4:18-19)
- God can multiply and sustain me on my little (Luke 9:12-17)
Those are my top 4. Of course, there’s always the “What if I die tomorrow? I’m not promised the next breath!” And so what? I know that my family will be cared for, my husband knows I’ve dedicated my life to the Lord, to being the best wife I can be in loving him well and raising and educating our children, and I know my true and eternal home is with the Lord. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” And what Christian wouldn’t rejoice in the sweet reprieve of death to this world, and life with our glorious Savior?
When you actually stop to sit down and think about it, when you name your fears and surrender them to the Father, the fear falls away, the worry wanes, the anxiety abates, and you’re left with nothing, save your faith in the person and work of Christ to carry you through what, to you, is the unexpected and unknown, but what, to Him, is what He’s already declared a decisive victory over- the troubles of this life, and the things of the world.
And then… Peace.