Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Crisis of Disaster, The Crisis of Delay

I cannot claim this title as it was from the sermon of our visiting Pastor. This is a precious man in his late 70's/early 80's ... he is our gift during the interim period of waiting for our new senior pastor.

What struck me was the content of his sermon. It is in essence the thesis of a book I am writing and a sermon topic I love to preach on as well. It concentrates on that period of time between fear and faith.

You know ... when something happens ... like awaiting Gustav this weekend ... our first flesh response seems to be fear. Fear is a good thing ... it is an emotion given to us by God for a very specific and useful purpose.

Why?

Fear was given to us to cause us to see our inability and to run to His ability.

Let me say that again in full Pastor voice ...

Fear was gven to us ... by God ... to cause us to see our inability ... and to run to His ability.

Our precious Pastor did not go this way with his sermon, and it was a wonderful word full of faithand hope. But God wanted me to concentrate on this one concept. I end up doing a lot of that these days as I attempt to write this book I've been trying to write ...

I want to add something else to it though ... The Crisis of Faith

Think of the last time you felt fear.

A storm;
A near car accident;
Your child was late;
You couldn't find your precious kitten;
You got that diagnosis of cancer.

What happens? You take in a deep breath ... no doubt to prepare your body to run. You go numb as all of your blood is now moved to your head for clear thinking ... then to your heart to prepare you to run and that is all you want to do. This is a normal, healthy, and fantastic response built into our bodies by our Heavenly Father to strengthen us to take flight from an enemy or danger.

That is the same as a stress response or a panic/anxiety attack. However, there usually is not a flesh and blood - or wind and rain - enemy for us to run from these days. The enemy is usually ourselves or the voice of fear ... straight from the pit of hell, but that's another sermon. *grin*

So to whom to we run?
Our spouse? Our best friend? Our Pastor? A therapist?
All those are good places to run as there is wisdom in a multitude of counsellors.

However ...

all of these people need to run with us to the foot of the Father ...

It is there that we will find peace and rest. It is only in faith that the Lord has come, has died, has risen and sits at the right Hand of the Father that we can find the peace and rest. He is always interceeding for us; working things out for our good; preparing; knowing and working his good plans for our lives.

It is such a short journey, but yet such a long one for most of us ... myself included and that's why I spend so much time on this topic ... because we generally take a "Family Circus" type journey from the crisis to the Christ.

That is the crisis of disaster. But what about the crisis of delay? What about when we run to the Father, feeling that we are safe, and yet the wind and the rain continue and the enemy continues to growl in our ear? What about the time it takes from the accident to the healing? That's where the faith comes in big time, isn't it? That's where we press into Christ again .. and again ... and again ... and again until we feel we cannot press in any further . a.n.d. we are concerned that our faith was misplaced.

Ah, the crisis of delay often takes us to the crisis of faith.

Jarius, The woman with the issue of Blood, Peter, John, the rest of the Disciples, the Mary's, Debra, Esther, Moses, Abraham, Sarah, the list goes on. They all had that moment of the crisis of faith.

It is there that the roots are dug deep into the olive branch, the vine ... the Christ. It is there that we find Him.

P.U.S.H. Look up the story ... Pray Until Something Happens. We find Him in the Prayer.

He is good. He is faithful. He is love. He is Peace and Rest for your soul and mine.

Amen.

6 comments:

annie said...

We've just returned from mandatory evacuation from Gustav! Very grateful for safe travel and God's grace.

annie said...

PS-- This time was very different than when we left for Rita, and yet there was much to be grateful for then, and also the constant presence of God's grace even as we dealt with the aftermath of Rita.

May the people who are dealing with the aftermath of Gustav also experience and recognize God's presence and grace in their storm.

Carolyn said...

annie, i cannot imagine how it must feel to be evacuated. I'm thankful you are safe.

lorna (see throughfaith) said...

interesting to read this .... write more (also about the book!)

genialc said...

Romans 8:1 addresses the issue of our fleshly response to crises.

Carolyn said...

amen! Romans 7 has brought me through so many trials in my life! I love how it ends in Romans 8!

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
22For in my inner being I delight in God's law;
23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 8
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[a]
2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d]
4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Live according to the Spirit! It's possible.

I'll have to get back at this blog to think through the thesis of my book with you guys. ...