If we were forced to live off the landcertain skills would help us survive. Starting a fire to keep warmusing plants for food and medicinecatching food to eatpurifying water for drinkingand building a shelter would all help us live longer in primitive conditions.
What about economic survival skills? Are there things that you can do to survive rough economic times?
Start a Fire to Keep Warm
Don't let your heart grow cold. God's Word is still true and so are His promises. Just because we are in a recession doesn't mean that biblical principles stop working. Continue to obey God's timeless principles (tithinggivingsavingbudgetingcontentmentthankfulness) and stand on His promises.
Make declarations each morning to stir up your faith. When Mike and I were entering our fifth year of financial difficulties years agoI began making financial declarations. I simply inserted our names into the following passages and read them aloud each morning in a personalized way. Soon my faith was soaringaffecting my prayer lifeand our financial situation began to turn around in just six months. Yesfor years (not days or weeks)I made these declarationsstanding on His promises.
Deuteronomy 28:1-4; Isaiah 54:10-17; Psalm 112; & II Corinthians 9:6-15.
Our business has been hit hard this year and the Lord is reminding me to start making declarations again. What a joy it is to remind God of His promises. Reminding myself warms me up inside too!
Use Plants for Food and Medicine
When military pilots are shot down in enemy territorythey are taught to survive and avoid capture until they are rescued. Part of this survival involves using plants for food and medicine. Poisonous plants must be recognized and avoided. Certain plants provide pain reliefwhile others can treat infections. Re-think the way you feed your body and take care of your family's health.
Adding one or two vegetarian meals a week to your family's diet will lower your food bill and probably their cholesterol too. Herbs can be used to treat paininfectionsand minor illnesses. Check out a book on herbal remedies from the library. We have used herbs effectively with our family to avoid expensive doctor visits.
Catch Food to Eat
When life is normalyou go to the grocery store to buy foodbut if you live off the landyou have to catch and kill your own meata different way of obtaining food. Think of creative ways to obtain your family's needs without spending money.
Consider bartering. My friend Sarah is a hair stylist and I am a homemaker. She does my hair and I feed her several times a month. She is thankful for the home-cooked meal and I am thankful to be blond instead of gray. Another friend of mine gives piano lessons to my children. In exchangeI tutor her children in history. I also barter tutoring a college student in writing and he does all my computer repair work for free. Think of ways that you can barter. Here are just a few things to consider.
Building/home improvement projects
Yard work/lawn mowing
Water is available in the wildbut you must have a purification system to drink it. We may need to purify our finances. Economic hard times are great times to re-evaluate where and how we spend our money. Are there things that we can cut out of our budget? Can we pay off our debts? Can we cut off extrasturn off cableor stop going out to eat? These questions are not just financial questions because how we spend our money reveals our hearts. What do we value? If we pare things downwhen our financial situation improveswe can live on lesssowing more into the Kingdom of God.
Sopurify your heart. Let God search your heart and guide you in the way you should go!
"Search meO Godand know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in meand lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139: 23-24).
Build a Shelter
The first thing I would do if I had to live off the land (after begging the Lord to COME BACK NOW!) would be to build a shelter to protect me from stormswild animalsand yucky bugs.
We need a shelter from the economic storm. The best way to survive any trial is to have healthy relationships because these relationships will provide support. Strengthen your relationship with the Lord by drawing close to him in worshipprayerBible readingand making declarations. Strengthen family and extended family relationships. Be willing to take in family members who are strugglingprovided they are willing to pull their weight in the household financially and practically. If you need helpcould you live with your parentsin-lawsor siblings?
Prepare an economic shelter. Save whatever you can each montheven if it is only $5.00. Make a list of things that you could sell if you had to that would provide cash to live on. Have a garage sale and put the money in savings in case of a job loss or unexpected financial trial. Consider starting a home business to bring in extra money. Make changes. You can survive. God is with you and He always has a plan!
You are more resilient than you think you are. Put your creativity to work during these lean times and watch to see what God will do! He is still on the throne! He still takes care of His little lambs.