I’m sure we all are familiar with the word “Crisis”. We’ve been through it; we’ve seen people weather through it while some others got stuck in it. Some of my favourite dictionary definitions of crisis are: An unstable or crucial time in which a decisive change is impeding, A turning point for better or worse, An emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life, A situation that has reached a critical stage.
The word crisis has always been viewed from a negative perspective but in reality it’s not a completely bad word though a crisis experience isn’t always pleasant either. Your personal experience in a crisis and the impact it has on you simply depends on your perspective to it and the position you take in the time of crisis. Take for example that you are given a glass with water filled halfway, you’ll either view it as a glass either “half filled” or a glass “half empty”; it all depends on the angle you are viewing it from. The attitude of a person who views the glass as “half filled” will always be different from that of a person who views the glass as “half empty”.
Naturally, a crisis experience takes a person through painful experiences but with an accurate perspective, making the right decisions & choices, it can be turned around for your good. Everybody in life go through some form of crisis at different phase of live and it could occur in different aspects of our lives – finance, marriage, job, health, relationship etc. Every crisis in our live has a purpose for which it exists and God intends that we use it to our advantage. Just to clear the air on the God side to crisis, we must understand that God is not the one who brings crisis into our lives though He allows it.
Why Does God Allow Crisis In Our Lives?
God allows crisis into our lives as a wakeup call to initiate an urgent change in our lives or it serves as an indicator that we are missing it somewhere, somehow & we need to check it. Someone once said that “At the curve of every change in your life, some kind of crisis is always present” and I tend to agree to this. Most persons will not change a bad or harmful behaviour or lifestyle; they will not stop chasing an unproductive pursuit except crisis sets in. If God allows you to keep going in the same inaccurate direction for too long, you‘ll end up destroying yourself or truncating His purpose for your life. So, crisis is God’s way of intervening in your life when you put up a deaf ear to his instruction to change in a different direction. Crisis creates within you an appetite for change, while relevant, strategic knowledge empowers you to take accurate steps in the right direction. Knowledge alone does not compel people to change their lifestyle, behaviour, pursuit in life except there is some form of crisis. Let share me share with you from my personal experience. Recently, I decided to cut down on carbohydrate & eliminate sugar from my diet. I have always known that these things are not too healthy for a person especially when you are 40 years and above, but I did not do anything to check my meals until I began to feel heavy, my tummy began getting bigger etc. I got worried and that propelled me to look up the information that I have always known. That was my crisis moment and that prompted me to take an accurate action. Head ache is a form of crisis that indicates something is wrong. But what do we do? In this crisis, we simply take pain killers (a palliative) to calm down this symptom without dealing with the root cause. Same applies to our financial crisis, what do we do? We go for loans to keep feeding the system that keeps us bankrupt. In our marriage crisis, it’s the same; we go for the easy way out – divorce.
It’s always some form of crisis that leads us back to God most of the time. We do not naturally want to acknowledge God as long as things are working well for us. But the moment crisis hits us, we feel we are losing control of the situation and need a higher power to intervene; for instance Jesus died to give us a platform for a valid relationship with our heavenly Father. Most people know this but its crisis that draws them to accept that offer. There are obvious empowering truths we must to acknowledge in every crisis situation. What are they?
- Something obviously has gone wrong and will remain like that until it is corrected.
- You contributed consciously or unconsciously to it and need to take responsibility.
- You need relevant information to take an accurate decision. Seek for it.
- You need strong resolve to take the relevant action.
- You need discipline to be consistent in this new direction.
Crisis is like an in-built indicator within every system that exists in life be it an organization, a company, a financial system, a family or human life and we need to pay close attention to crisis in order to handle it appropriately and get transformed.
How Then Do We Approach A Crisis Situation?
First, analyse the situation with an open heart. Question your previous actions and activities. Diagnose what the root problem is not just the consequence of your actions. You’ll do exactly what a medical doctor would do for you in a health crisis. A doctor would first diagnose the crisis in order to get to the root of the problem not just deal with the symptoms.
Secondly, don’t pass the responsibility of dealing with the crisis to someone else. Take personal responsibility. It’s your life. Take for example, in a marriage crisis; we are always quick to pass the bulk to our spouses instead of taking responsibility for change. Stop blaming someone else for your crisis, deal with it.
Thirdly, seek information that is relevant and strategic to the crisis and take the right actions. Crisis rooted in spiritual reality requires spiritual revelation and action, a health crisis might require medical as well as divine intervention, marriage/family crisis requires a practical application of biblical truth, sound wisdom and jugdement, etc. You don’t take malaria drugs to deal with a migraine. That would be misappropriation of treatment.
Fourthly, don’t leave God out of the equation. Ask Him for His wisdom.
I’d love to end by sharing with you a story from the bible in Luke 5:1-10. The story in this passage captures all the truth I have shared with you. The story captures the crisis experience of Peter and his colleagues. They were called fishermen because they were professionals in their field. Their expertise failed them, all their efforts and technical knowhow failed. They had toiled all night and caught nothing. That implied a financial crisis, emotional frustration etc. At the point of crisis, Jesus came and asked to enter into the vehicle of their crisis (for you it could be your marriage, finance, health) and He used their vehicle to first of all accomplish His purpose. They had the option of refusing Jesus because they may have been tired, frustrated and angry. After Jesus was done, He gave a command that did not make sense in the fourth verse. Lots of time we’ve always had Jesus in our boat (vehicle of crisis) but we have refused to obey the simplest instruction He whispers in our hearts. What Peter and his colleagues needed to end their crisis is an instruction that would reveal God’s wisdom for that situation. It’s called a rhema word from God (see verse 5). This is the key to your breakthrough.
At the end of the day, Jesus through the crisis redirected their attention from their career to their ultimate life purpose. He redefined their life’s pursuit, gave then a new vision, and made them more productive and relevant than they ever would have been. They became transformed people. God wants to use your crisis to redefine different aspects of your life one step at a time so you can be a better and more productive person in life. Think about it.