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The Key to Surviving Crisis and Crashes
Adjusting the balance of routine
There is a planting underway in our story
I recently experienced a tough spot a balance adjustment in my routine, and while life is a bit more bumpy than routine, I had grown accustomed to a maintenance of sorts, at least with my treatments for a serious health condition. This maintenance afforded me some sense of normalcy. Still what is normal when the world we experience is anything but?
We live life seeking balance hitting bumps along the way. There's a comfort in experiencing the buildup then suddenly life strikes. The attacks are at times blatant, however, it’s those covert approaches of crisis that hit hard. They sneak up, rock your world, and leave you teetering
You can fill in the blank with whatever attack is adjusting your balance, but I hope you know that regardless of the wall you’re up against today, God is breaking it down. And in time, the undeniable truth of how He continues to build us up in the darkest of places will be revealed.
Our current story is one of millions, however, the overflow of that story is where the seeds of miracles are spilling over and taking root in the soil of faith. The tears we shed during life’s challenges are full of His grace. Unfortunately the blur from our tears makes it difficult to see the planting that is underway.
Seedlings that overflow from the spillage of crisis become whimsical dancers as they root and then climb the vine toward the light of the upper canopy.
Light is brightest there, and the seedlings expand into mature leaves, basking in the glory of the glow. As they near the heavens, they seek only to expand and flourish. How the seeds spilled off to begin with, no longer matters, they simply seek the light that aides their growth.
In the following short film how fitting that this exploration of natures, discusses thorns and palms, symbolism along the way of what awaits us in the upper can
We all have a story and each one is important to bringing others to the upper canopy
My story continues after another visit to the local emergency room with a significant crisis. As things complicate difficult questions present. Overwhelmed, and in shock, I find it hard to answer with any sense of assurance, as I'm spent.
Nonetheless, it's not up to me as God handles it. He surrounds us with the nurturing of others and the fruit of His Spirit. He shines through the darkness in the talents of various caring people, whom He uses to help decide, when we can't. This is when you have to release control and trust we are in "beautifully over our head." Beautiful, because trusting God is the best option as He pours over you.
He has a reason for this and all seasons in life. As I reflect, I am humbled as I was told there is a power of faith that I display in the midst of a crisis, and people find this attitude amazing. Surely that power is not me, but rather God in me. Often my flesh is screaming through the laughter and crying behind the smiles. Little do they know, how many times God restarts the heart, from the pits of despair. He does so even while sleeping without breath of our own. He is our breath, He meets you there in the quiet, in spite of our flesh He makes us strong, and there is no greater joy!
Corinthians 12:9 "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
I suppose this crisis intervention is the thorn that rips my flesh as I seek the light of the upper canopy. Yours may come from a disruption in your home, loss of security with a job or finances, emotional trauma in relationship, or dealing with the current chaos of our news channels.
All we need do is open our eyes and ears to recognize everyone is adjusting to the balance of life depending on our current situations. Regardless of our conversion to a life of surrender, dying to self, and belief in Christ, this world allows thistles of distraction meant to separate us from the vine.
No matter how high up the ladder of life we climb into joy, happiness, goodness, etc. there is a force always trying to knock us down a rung or two, and at times it may kick us all the way to the bottom, only to start up again.
The best part is that while we’re falling, God is already sending reinforcements of His strength into our crisis. He supplies the branches to the vine, allowing us to support one another as we seek the upper canopy together.
I've fallen but I will get up
He is recalculating our path in ways we could never imagine
My particular situation is one that takes me down quickly, at least in the physical state, but when I see the seedlings of growth in hindsight, I am in awe of how nightmares can become miracles. However, I admit nightmares are not fun and we would much rather avoid the things that make us lose our balance.
If you will allow me, I would like to describe the slippage that attempts to cloud my view and seeks to give way to leaky holes in my heart during my recurring crisis. I suppose I compare it to a familiar bad dream, and while I am armored with good humor and tenacity, I too need my people when broken, and mostly, I need time to allow God to give me clarity.
Where my experience is unlike yours I am sure you can relate to the emotions that take hold when crisis takes up storage room in our heart. I find myself in some form of suspended animation when my body is heading to hiatus of a potential ventilator crisis. Heavy labor comes as a silent stealer of wind, that creeps into my trunk where each breath seems to space itself farther apart. I try to lie still allowing the air to flow into my lungs, but they weaken regardless of concentration to inflate. As in any crisis aren’t we merely trying to catch our breath!
Many ask what it is like to go into a state where you’re unable to breathe for yourself. It’s similar to a slow fade with an impending collapse after the longest workout, as if on a treadmill that keeps on going with no rest in sight. How is that for a visual? I think it’s fairly accurate. If we look under the hoods of all the cars around us, I bet we would see some mighty tired squirrels running the belts of those engines, or at least some deflated people behind the masks of illusion.
The hardest part of battling any crisis or disease is the inability to see the inner workings of the wasting process. The breakdown comes often with little to no warning. One may be quite well, seemingly good or “normal” and I suppose the first signs, after many years in this cycle of life, is a quiet observance of something feeling askew. You know, that, I can’t put my finger on it, but something’s not quite right. My guess is there’s a similar feeling with any crisis, that mess with our complacency.
Now, complacency or smug may seem like strong words, however, are we not fans of a smooth ride? It’s much easier to ride on the bumpy roads with a copilot; nonetheless, we often venture out on our own believing in our self-navigation as opposed to the most accurate GPS around, God’s Protection Service. When we start to fall into the levity of our situations and circumstance. He is already recalculating our route providing the fueling of faith that crisis of any kind wants to place in jeopardy.
Climbing back up we are never alone
Sharing prayer in crisis helps keep the sand bags in the right spots
Sharing my situation crisis I remain aware that everyone has these types of experiences more than we like to recall, making us privy to the disruptive jolt that curses through the veins of those closest to the crash. I suppose this is where the stillness comes from, for in our mind we pray it away attempting to shutdown all unneeded power sources. We attempt to focus our energy on the ability to simply allow the repetitive movement of breathing to get us through.
Where in my recurring position I am in distress and thus attempt to put all the previous crisis information into play, by speaking less, conserving energy and using assisting devices to rest long enough for the right intervention to take hold. At the same time I see the concern in the eyes of many, first the love of my life my husband, our children, family, and friends. Second a staff of critical care nurses and doctors, both new to this crisis and those seasoned much like family, after many years of this battle. We gear up and hang tight calling on all prayer warriors still knowing we're in for a ride with some caution and twisty turns.
Similarly we do the same in any crisis, taking inventory of resources, exploring the best options, coming together in faith and fellowship with friends and family and getting on our knees as we simply hold on tight and trust, God has us, if we can just let Him take the wheel.
The moments leading up to life altering decision are the toughest, as a team of loved ones and workers battle to keep sand bags in place of the holes in our heart. These holes are where doubt, confusion, and fear want to break out and seep into our rooted soil of faith. These attacks seek to poison the truth that God is already working things together for our good.
We know this as God's grace is sufficient and He is all we need. Yet the flesh is weak as the battle to control any piece of the nightmare ensues, when it’s ridiculous to even try. However, as weak as the body can become, the mind and heart compete for first place in the tenacious assault of wills.
Realizing the relinquishment of control is everything as we need to trust that no matter the outcome it’s going to be okay. Still it takes a minute to process the crashes in life. How lucky are we when God sends messengers to remind us of His glory. They point us to His greatest trial the cross where He became our saving grace and we thank you Jesus for the perfect example of the cross.
It takes an army of believers in a really big storm, lean on God's army for prayer is powerful
It can be a tad tough in the middle of your mess
In the middle of your mess it’s a tad more difficult to hold onto the miracles, yet in Proverbs 3: 5-6 it tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight.” In Proverbs He shares a collection of Biblical wisdom that has poignant reminders of how we negate the power of His word and promises leaving our earthly reaction to people and circumstance. God brings His angels and sends messengers when in turmoil keeping wickedness and deceit at bay. “A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.” Proverbs 13:17
In the darkness a power of doubt is the enemy, in its attempt to steal your soul. You are the flames that put me through hell, fear, anger, hurt, and assuredly doubt, everything that keeps crisis as the temperature of living. But, we know a better way, the only way, the truth, and life in Christ.
Don't let doubt break you down just keep praying - Kesha shares her battle in this powerful piece of artistry, but, lets not forget who answers our prayers
Oh sweet Kesha
Oh sweet Kesha, and all that battle a world that would tell us otherwise, Yes! There is a God! He is right there in every battle, every tear, and every scream! He is the raft, the water and everything! You are important to Him, we are all important to Him!
I get it, we all get it, and the crash and the crisis are tough. Let out the scream shed the tear, people will help to sandbag the holes in your heart. So, just keep praying because God fixes all the brokenness. The world will be allowed the thorns and the thistle, but keep climbing and leaning on one another on our way home, because He is the vine and we are the branches connected to Him.
I breathe you in again
I hope to remember as the crisis and crashes of life continue that the best and only place to lean, is on the beautiful wisdom of God, and my favorite prayer when in the midst of the breakdown is simply to say, Jesus!
I believe God will guide you the rest of the way! Come tear down the boxes I’ve tried to put you in, because I’ve been here before and you always meet me there, as you crash over me, when I am beautifully in over my head, I breathe you in again, my Jesus.
Bethel Music embodies what praying is when beautifully over our head
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