by Sylvia Gaston
Many people find themselves suddenly in the midst of some messy things, ranging from annoying inconveniences to full-blown crises. It’s not a question of ‘if’ you will find yourself there, but ‘when’.
What does a crisis look like? Here are a few examples:
- Your car breaks down or is stolen
- You lose your job or your financial situation is dire
- You receive bad health news
- Your child gets in trouble
- A loved one dies or is very ill
- Your spouse behaves badly . . . or worse
- You find yourself a victim of a crime or interpersonal attack
The list can go on and on. What do you do when you find yourself in such a situation? How do you think you will respond when a crisis rears it’s ugly head?
There is a saying, “When a person is squeezed, you see what they’re really made of by what comes out”. This means that who you really are is revealed in the toughest of times when you are put to the test, or squeezed.
If you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice. If you squeeze a tube of toothpaste, we know what will come out. What comes out of you when you are really squeezed?
People respond to crisis in a variety of ways: anger, withdrawal, fear, blame, questioning of their faith, self-medication, depression, to name a few. I narrow it down to two ways: you either crumble or you battle.
Crumbling is certainly the easiest. It takes no effort whatsoever. You merely succumb to the effects of the emergency, allowing the consequences to sweep you away in its path. However, that relinquishes all control and leaves you a victim. It doesn’t do anything in the way of developing your character, wisdom, or maturity. It sure doesn’t help you set an example or teach those around you, such as children or grandchildren, about how to respond appropriately in their own lives.
If you have a relationship with God, you already have a solid foundation upon which to do battle. God inspired an entire book of instructions and promises upon which to stand. It’s called the Bible. If you have chosen to follow Jesus, you have His Holy Spirit authority to take command and become victorious over your circumstances! Yet, many of us, either don’t know that or under-utilize that authority and wisdom.
When I meet with people in crisis, I pray with them and try to point them to God, who has all power and authority. I try to put resources in their hands to use as tools in their current battle.
I happen to have a Bible that has a great concordance in the back of it. A concordance is an alphabetical listing of words or topics in the Book. It lists a part of the sentence the word is used in to guide you to the right Scripture. You then look up those verses and, if they fit, begin to use them to guide you.
Many of us need to broaden our knowledge of what God says about the challenges of life and do battle in a spiritual way, rather than an emotional one. We need to take charge of our crisis and begin DECLARING what God says about us, Himself, and what is true!!
I challenge you to try this approach next time. It won’t make the crisis go away and sometimes it’s a daily, hourly, or minute-by-minute challenge. But, relying on God’s promises and declaring them over your life will carry you through your next big challenge in a more victorious and empowering way. It will also deepen your relationship with the most important Influencer of your life!
If you don’t know or follow Jesus, then that’s your first step. You don’t even have to go to a church to begin a relationship with Him. A simple prayer begins the most significant journey of your human life.
A – Ask God to forgive you of your sins. (The Bible states that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. –Romans 3:23)
B – Believe that Jesus died for all of our sins. (This is an unearned gift, giving us forgiveness and direct access to God through prayer and His Holy Spirit. – 1 Peter 3:18)
C – Choose to follow Jesus. (Matthew 11:29 tells us to accept Jesus’ teaching and learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. And we will find rest for ourselves.)
A crisis WILL come. Will you crumble or do battle, relying on our Creator and Father in heaven?