Some authors simply cause me to stop and pause. I can read their writing and can’t quite move on until I have saturated myself in the truth they have communicated. Christian counselor H. Norman Wright is one of those authors for me. He writes in his book, Crisis Counseling the truth about life’s troubles…
“…the journey through life is a series of crises – some are predictable and expected and some are total surprises. Some crisis is developmental and some are situational…Being alive means that we constantly have to resolve problems. Every new situation we encounter provides the opportunity to develop new ways of using our resources to gain control.”
After reading this quote I couldn’t help but look back at how I used to handle crises in my life. In all honesty when I was in my twenty’s, a crisis would send me down to a path of total peril and depression. I would become so overwhelmed that it would make me sick! Talk about the “sky is falling!” I believed it did! My whole world would stop and the crises would become my god. I’ve learned a few things over the years. I thank God for what he has taught me. And every lesson learned came from a crisis in my life and God’s faithfulness in each one. As troubles come my way there are three things I’ve learned to do to keep me from diving into the sea of despair I once bathed in…
1.) I pray. I cry out to God, and while I’m praying, God brings to my memory his faithfulness! I pause and take time to remember that God is my refuge and my strength. He is my ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, I choose to not fear, even though my life appears to be giving way; even though the struggles I am facing seem to quake with all their surging, I am still. I station myself in the truth that God is my answer and that His power is my resource.
2.) I learn. As Wright mentions in the quote above, every new situation we encounter is an opportunity to develop new ways of using our resources to gain control. An opportunity is hardly the word we would describe when facing a crisis, but it is a chance to do something new. We can learn from every crisis; every crisis leads us to a new place of brokenness and a new experience in God’s presence. Unfortunately, we don’t learn to do this when life is easy and running smoothly. We learn this when horrific or even simple blows strike our comfortable life. These blows have the power to not only teach us, they also soften us. If we let them, crisis molds us and creates an attentive spirit to the Lord’s leading.
3.) I trust. We don’t always understand the crisis’s we face in life. Sometimes the lessons learned are revealed and some simply never make their way to our understanding. It’s in these times we must trust in the One who has allowed them in our life. We trust in His goodness not the horror of the crisis. As I said earlier, when I was young, I often let the crisis be my god. It consumed me. Then I would go into a full throttle of solving the problem in my own strength; I usually made very bad decisions when in that situation. Waiting on the Lord’s solution is the hardest. In my attempt to solve the issue I was really running from the lesson. God makes us wait, so that we pray, so that we learn and so that we trust in His ways not ours.
There is this false teaching going around that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.
Oh yes He does! Yes, He does give us a way out of temptation if we take it. But He doesn’t always provide a way out of our struggles. But He does provide a way through them.
He chooses to use them to help us.
To grow us.
To keep us firmly in the grip of His hands.
He uses every crisis to mold us into the person of power that He intends to use for His glory, and for His kingdom purposes.
When troubled waters roar and foam, when the mountains quake and bring despair your way, know that there is another river that flows more mightily; it’s filled with streams of delight – a dwelling place of the Most High God. God is within these streams. Nations rage, crisis bring their turmoil, but the Lord’s power melts them all with the sound of His voice. (Psalm 46)
I urge you to stop your fighting and your striving.
Cry out to Our Mighty Savior, Jesus; learn from Him; and totally trust Him.
In this stance, your crisis will grow smaller as your God becomes larger!