I'll admit, the first time I heard the concept of "storing up" my mind immediately went to squirrels. Then doomsday peppers. There were no positive or realistic reasons, in my mind, for storing up. I'm here to admit that I was wrong, and to outline reasons that it is a great idea.
The story of Joseph in Genesis shows how storing up in times of plenty can see you through hard times. Joseph knew of the famine coming and advised Pharaoh to begin storing up food and resources to get them through the famine that was to come. Seven years with no food is seemingly impossible, but with time and preparation, they got through the famine successfully.
When we first walked through this story at my church, I was confused. It seemed irrelevant. With the amount of Hy-Vee stores around me and the access to food at the push of a button, I do not believe I will ever have to worry about food this much. It wasn't until later that it hit me. What you store up does not have to be food.
Storing up for seasons of famine
We all go through different seasons of plenty in our lives. Seasons where we have a lot of income, seasons where we have a lot of friends, seasons where school is going well. Whatever the form of "plenty" may be, we all see them and they are almost guaranteed to come to an end, at least temporarily. What we do in these seasons of plenty determine how we will get through the seasons of famine.
With a season of good spiritual health, an abundance of community and low stress, may come a season where you feel isolated, alone, unhealthy. With nowhere else to turn, you will have to use your storage to power through.
Our pride often gets to us in good times, we feel that we don't "need" God. "I'm fine" we say, "I don't need You right now." Fight the urge to pull away from God in times of plenty. Instead, use this time to store up. Are you storing God's word away in your heart? Are you being intentional with your relationships to form deep connections that can be helpful later? Are you deepening your relationship with Christ so you can see and know Him more clearly during hard times? If not, I suggest you start now, He's waiting for you!
When you are in a season of famine that you have not stored up for, you may find yourself wondering who you can turn to. Where is the community you need? Where is God? You may find yourself struggling to remember His promises because you do not have His word stored away in your heart. You will have to work harder to get through a hard time and to see Jesus in it.
Remember that the good times you are experiencing now may very well come to an end, do not neglect your spiritual health because your life is healthy on world terms.
Storing up for an overflowing heart
Not only do we need to store up for seasons of famine, but we should store up so that our hearts can overflow.
Whatever is in your heart, will eventually be revealed by your words. Matthew 12:33 shows us that if we fill our hearts with good things, we will have good thoughts which will lead us to speak good things and bear good fruits. Everything we do flows from the heart.
When we allow ourselves to entertain our thoughts, and not correct them and replace them with scripture, we allow ourselves to succumb to sin. The only way we can battle our sinful nature is through Christ. Come to Him, and He will give you wisdom. Read, memorize and meditate on His words and watch how your heart changes!
When you are filling your heart with crap, you will present yourself life crap and give other people crap. When you fill your heart with love, patience, understanding, God, that is what you will present to people. Only then can you fulfill your purpose to live in relationship with Him and to share His word.
If you want your life to change, you must allow God to change your heart first.