Speaker: Bonnie Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2
For 88 years, the Royal Bank of Canada produced a monthly letter that had a huge readership. “It has become almost habitual in these grim days,” the letter opened with in 2003, “for political and economic commentators to speak of a ‘crisis of confidence.’ Looking back, if we thought we were in a crisis of confidence then, today, we can apply that phrase to governments, global health, the economy and personal relationships. Belief and trust have given way to doubt and skepticism. The confidence that we once may have had in an institution, or a person, or even the future, has eroded and what we have left is a crisis marked by uncertainty and conjecture.
Yes, even before pandemic struck our world, watching the news, or surfing the internet would have left you with the impression that a “crisis of confidence” is the chronic condition of life on earth today—the status quo. In reality, a crisis is like a turn in the road which demands decision. It is actually a turning point at which a situation will either get better or worse. In medicine, it is said that a person is facing a crisis when his condition has reached the point at which either death or recovery is expected.
The Chinese word for “crisis” is written with two characters. One is the character or symbol for danger; the other, opportunity. The Chinese view crisis as a fork in the road–one branch of which leads to danger, the other to opportunity; and the turning point is the crisis. The very nature of the situation demands decision. Though we usually avoid a crisis, if at all possible, it gives us the opportunity to make new discoveries and realize new possibilities.
For example, if there is a crisis in your marriage, your relationship is threatened by something‑‑another person, an illness or perhaps financial disaster. It is a crisis for certain, and it can destroy you or it can cause you to seek help, and then to communicate on a deeper level with each other. It can cause you to drop to your knees and cry out like the king of the Bible, Jehoshaphat did when he said, “Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague or famine, we come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will rescue us…. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chronicles 20:12). It is the very cry of a person whose life, relationship or livelihood are threatened, and they pray, “God, I don’t know what the answer is, but I still have confidence in
You, and I believe You can help me.”
The good news of the Gospel is that in times of crises and upheaval, there is an unchanging God in heaven who will respond to your cries and meet your deepest need. When we are faced with crisis, there is but one thing to do, and that is to cry out as did David did in the Psalms: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I,” (Psalm 61:2).
Pastor Rick Warren is known for saying that you are either in a trial right now, have just come through one or are about to go into one. Are you in a crisis? What is the opportunity that presents itself to you through this crisis? One opportunity is available to all: you can decide to cry out to God for help, for the kind of courage that only comes from Him. “Fear not for I am with you,” He says, “I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Resource reading: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30