Crisis # 751 and Counting

Crisis!  Life Storms!  Volcanoes of Pain!  These words echo in my soul right now.  Why?  Because I find myself involved volcano1in some way with three different ones today.  A best friend who is facing his addictions and struggling to get himself under control while hoping to keep his family together.  My sisters sister (my sister is adopted) who won’t grow up and divorce herself from a drug filled life to take care of her kids.  An Uncle with stage 4 cancer and MRSA who probably won’t be with us much longer.  Three different issues, one I am heavily involved in and two only peripherally.  While the world focuses on Jon & Kate and their problems I am dealing with these.

I’m not complaining, I am truly blessed.  I have a beautiful wife, three amazing kids, a job, In-Laws that love me, a fantastic Mom, a be there when I need him Dad, a sister and brother-in-law that would do anything for us and a brother and sister-in-law that have recently been blessed with a beautiful baby boy.  But all around me people are struggling to survive, to heal and to find some place for their children to go so they don’t have to grow up and be a responsible parent.

It has been said that a person is their truest self when they are alone, when no one is watching, when they can let their guard down.  I also believe that people find how much strength they have in times of crisis.  When their world is crumbling around them and friends abandon them or lash out at them.  Their core of strength is revealed.  The sheet-rock exterior is broken to reveal either a granite center or a just more sheet-rock.  I don’t know what will be uncovered in each of the three circumstances above.  I have some guesses about each one but I have been wrong before.  Sometimes I am surprised and sometimes I am not.  Sometimes under pressure someone that seems weak will show true strength and someone that seemed so strong will crumble.  Only time will tell.

What’s your core?  Do you have granite at you center or just more sheet-rock?  When your world explodes will you stand or fall?  Do you have a place of refuge that you can find safety and rest?  The Bible talks of our refuge in God several times.refuge

1 God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!  Psalms 46:1-3 (New Living Translation)

15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”  Psalms 50:15 (New Living Translation)

As Christ-Followers our core is our faith.  The faith we have that allows us to seek and to find refuge in God.  He is the strength of our core.  Most of the crises that we face are of our own design and making.  When we find ourselves in situations that demand the most from us it mainly occurs because of decisions we have made in our past.  If the crisis is not of our doing it is most likely caused by the choices of others.  We are not alone and the actions of one are felt by many.  But too often we live our lives thinking the only ones we effect are ourselves.  This is the epicenter of pride.  Often misquoted as “Pride goes before a fall.”  the Bible actually says, ” Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Proverbs 16:18 (King James Version)

But no matter the cause of the storm there is still refuge from it.  However the idea of refuge is not a permanent fix but temporary solution.  We must rest and gather strength but we must also go back into the storm once our rest is complete.  We must endure the test, trial or temptation until it is over.  A time of healing is needed but we can’t withdraw completely.  Too many people are counting on us.  To many people needs us.

As Christ-Followers we are the light of the world.  If the world is cloaked in darkness and you have an un-ending light source would you hide it and never use it or would you climb to the top of a hill and allow it to blaze and give light to those in the darkness?

As Christ-Follwers we have the Bread of Life.  If the world was starving and you had a never ending source of food would you not share?

As Christ-Followers we have Eternal Hope.  If the world was in deep sorrow and crying out for help wouldn’t you offer them Your Hope?

The world is in darkness, it is starving and there is no hope.  It fumbles around blindly grasping at get-rich quick schemes, the newest electronic gadgets and pills that promise a new you in 30 days.  But Jesus offers eternal solutions to all of those problems.  He tells us not to horde treasures on earth because they are temporary and can be stolen or rust.  He tells us to hold to the Ten Commandments not the Ten Best Smartphones.  He tells us a new you is but a prayer away not in a pill bottle.

So as the world crashes down and volcanoes of pain erupt in your life, find The Refuge.  He is there.  He is waiting.  And He is ready.

How has God been a sourse of refuge in your life?  When has He pulled you in and protected you while you rested and healed?

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3 Responses

  1. God protected me and acted as refuge by answering my prayers. In my lowest moment, He knew that seeing His glory in action would be the best comfort for me. So when my long-sought and prayed for infant cousin was born sick and eventually died, my world became hollow. Nothing has been as painful as seeing the exhaustion and haunted look on the faces of my aunt and uncle. (Especially since my uncle has been my hero for so long.) I have prayed for years for my uncle’s salvation, but no amount of people’s instruction, preaching or well-meant but ill-employed “witnessing” changed his heart. Losing his daughter did, though. It was the worst answer to prayer I could have fathomed, yet what I feared would drive my uncle further away from God instead turned him around and right back into the arms of his eternal Father. I continually notice the difference. Just today, actually, I caught another comment he made that reminded that, although he may not be saved yet, God is slowly but effectively wooing him back Home. I really learned that, while there certainly is a time to act, there is also a time NOT to. Sometimes we humans need to step back and let the Holy Spirit work. The Bible isn’t lying when it claims that the Holy Spirit saves, not humans. We need to let go and let God!

    I’ll be praying for you, Shawn! As I learned, sometimes even the worst clouds have at least one faint silver lining!

  2. BTW, just for clarification: I meant we need to step back and stop preaching at people and simply pray for them in certain circumstances. I don’t want my words to be misconstrued to meaning not help the sick. Yes, good came out of my cousin’s death, but we did everything medically possible to try fix her. I called my uncle’s salvation a “silver lining”, but I would give anything to have my cousin back. Her death isn’t “ok” because I found good in it.

    I just wouldn’t want anyone to read my comment (especially someone who wasn’t a Christian) and think I was saying that, because salvation is so important it’s okay to be callous and unsympathetic about everything else!


  3. Emily,
    I don\’t think anyone would think that. Thanks for sharing your heart.
    Letting go of our own attempts to handle God\’s business is one of the hardest parts of being a Christ-Follower. But just as that name implies we are only the \”follower\”, He is the leader. Getting out of His way is never easy.
    I am sorry it took such a tragedy. My Dad and Mom have a similar story. My mom prayed for my Dad to get saved for years and years. It took my Grandma\’s death to wake my Dad up. Somehow I expect Grandma was happy to provide the push that Dad needed and I suspect that when we get to Heaven your cousin will say the same thing. Now instead of spending 40 or so years with his Dad he will get to spend eternity with him.

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