“It’s not you, it’s me”, the man said. “I just don’t think I love you anymore”.
“Your tests are back…” said the doctor. “I’m afraid it’s not the news we were hoping for.”
Heart pounding, pulse racing – bad news (especially the unexpected kind) makes us feel as though we’re being body slammed by a WWE heavyweight, and we’re not allowed to fight back.
It could be a breakup, a job loss, bad news from the doctor, but it has the same effect. A crisis puts the world into a tailspin, like an engine-less plane fluttering from the sky, making us feel everything from anxiety to fear to loneliness to rage…and sometimes all of those things and more.
There’s nothing like a crisis to remind me how much I need God.
I read that quote a while back and thought, how true. 2 days later and thwack, I was being body slammed by a crisis which seemed to spring up from nowhere.
Everything went blurry, panic was banging at the door, my brain was in overdrive; What if? What if? I was caught between trusting the reality of what I was seeing, or trusting God’s word, that He does have me in the palm of His hand, and that He does care.
Whose report will you believe?
So, night 1 of the crisis, I went home and knew I had a choice to make. Whose report was I going to believe? I opened my Bible and started to read the Psalms. Psalm 91 to be exact.
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
The ‘What ifs’ were still banging aggressively on the door, demanding to be let in. But as I started to read out loud, those irritating voices of fear started to slowly fade. Yes, some of what they were saying might have turned out to be true (not everything goes the way we want it to), but reading the age-old wisdom of God’s word, grounded me and reminded me that no ‘scheme of man’ can ever undo God’s plan.
I was once given a fantastic piece of advice.
Be angry – just don’t stay that way.
From what I can see, the Bible does not say that anger is a sin. But it does say, ‘in your anger, do not sin’.
I honestly think it’s ok to be mad about life’s circumstances or the injustice you’re facing, but the key is to not sin in the process. When you view anger as a thing you will journey through, rather than a destination, it’s quite liberating. We’ve all met angry people – people who’ve never truly resolved the rage they feel at something that’s happened. Their anger spills into other areas of their lives and makes them (and everyone around them) horrendously miserable. That’s not ‘healthy anger’, that’s ‘destination anger’; a person who has arrived at anger and has no plans to ever leave.
It’s ok to be angry….just don’t stay angry.
Be honest with God
God knows what we’re thinking and feeling through it all – even the things that we’re afraid to admit and acknowledge. There’s something incredibly powerful about being alone with God and saying, ‘Lord I am afraid that…’.
Often we feel the need to put on our imaginary best suits before we pray, but God already knows what’s in our hearts, and being honest with Him also allows us to be honest with ourselves too.
At some point, it’s inevitable, we will all face a crisis of some kind. I wish we didn’t have to, I wish we could just tootle along with things always staying the same. I wish life was a bit more predictable and had less ups and downs.
But I also know that sometimes it takes a crisis to knock us out of complacency and make us realise just how much we need someone to save us.