Everything is great! Life is fantastic! I’m blessed & highly favored! Living’ the dream!
I’ve said these words more than occasionally when my life isn’t whipy, when I’m tired, sick & when stuff is awful. So was I lying? Was I making a faith confession? Was I living in denial? Depending on the day or hour, yes 🙂
If we want to love genuinely, let’s be ready for someone to be honest & say that stuff isn’t going well. Indeed, when Job went through a season of living hell, his friends stayed with him in silence for a week before they said a word. There was no sunshine mantra in the conversations w Job & his friends. When a friend goes through a crisis, let’s be willing to walk alongside them with honesty & not get ruffled.
As it relates to having a personal crisis, I recognize that not everyone can handle our honesty or when things aren’t going well. And that’s ok! Let’s allow God to bring people into our lives who don’t always settle for the sunshine mantra.
I’m in Bangledesh at the moment, just beginning to explore the situation with the Rohingya, Muslim refugees who have very recently fled Burma to survive significant atrocities & even death. There are likely close to 700,000 Rohingya now in Bangledesh, living under plastic tarps & trying to make the best of a deplorable situation.
Admirable credit goes to the Bangledesh people for being gracious & generous with these displaced people. Everyone is trying to bring some good out of an horrific situation.
Here are some fundamental principles that are useful regardless of the atrocities:
Forgiveness isn’t optional – keep your heart poison free
Look for the positive
Keep your hearts tender to Jesus’ input.
These pictures show some beautiful people & the gorgeous countryside here.
What you focus on is where you go. I learned this with great intensity when I took a lesson for downhill mountain bike riding. In a particularly harrowing part of the trail, our instructor kept yelling, “LOOK PAST THE CURVE!!!” A few of my classmates didn’t listen to the instructor & they hardcore crashed, flipping over the handlebars. What the instructor was yelling didn’t make sense to me, but I decided to do what he said, nonetheless. When I followed the instructions, my bike followed my focus.
Lots of times, it’s easy to focus on emergencies, crises, worries, etc. When we obsess with struggles & uncertainties, it’s easy to crash in the curve because our focus gets off of Jesus. Let’s be sure that we keep our focus & thoughts on Jesus, the author & perfectos of our faith – Hebrews 12:2!
This collage of pictures is from several weeks ago when my husband was in ICU recovering from a stroke. He’s fine now, thank ya Jesus! During those days, however, you can rest assured that I was seriously looking for Jesus & finding Him everywhere!
I found Jesus when He helped us by providing one of the best ICU nurses. Ever.
I found Jesus giving me deep peace & comfort when the neurologist was examining my husband & not finding any evidence of the stroke.
I found Jesus when I would randomly meander the hallways praying, asking for help & strength.
I found Jesus when my husband was released earlier than expected with no permanent damage.
We can find Jesus, even in the times that are filled with crisis & stress!!
This weekend, my husband had a medical emergency that was very disturbing. Long story short, he’s ok. When I get some distance from the experience, I’ll likely do a blog on this & give me more details.
In the meantime, here are some things I’ve learned from this emergency:
Do what’s immediately required – stay focused & don’t panic
Keep praying – this helped me keep my emotions from getting the best of me
Let people help – I’m likely the strange ranger on this one, but my hyper-independence was a liability more than an asset in this experience
Keep the Bible in your brain – this helped me keep my feet on the ground & not entirely lose it.
Thanks to the great friends around us for all their support, prayers & encouragement!
A crisis is a really big challenge that can seem impossible & a crisis can be different for each of us. A crisis can be a medical emergency, a job loss, a severed relationship & lots of other things. There are also lots of biblical examples of people who underwent crisis, with varying outcomes, some were amazing & some were abysmal. Here are a few thoughts about handling crisis:
Moses at the Red Sea: keep your confidence in God & not what’s happening around you
Joshua at the Jordan: be obedient & trust God for the outcomes
Peter after denying Jesus: don’t let failures keep you away from Jesus
Saul on the road to Damascus: sometimes a crisis is nothing more than a course correction
I’ve just read about the massive 7.9 earthquake in Nepal. The destruction & lives lost won’t be fully assessed for several weeks, but so far, more than 970 people have died. Now, it’s a race against the clock to unbury & rescue probably thousands more before time runs out for them. There are huge efforts being made to rush aid, support and life to this country, even though there’s concern that the airport in Kathmandu may also be damaged from the quake.
When I watch Jesus in the Gospels, I’ve never seen Him run away from nor ignore pain, suffering and hardship. Rather, when I look at Jesus in the Gospels, He brought life, freedom, redemption, healing, restoration and much more wherever He went. Rather than running from & ignoring pain, suffering, loss and hardship, at minimum, let’s run with concern and prayer to this desperately needy plight in Nepal. I don’t think Jesus suffered from charity fatigue #selah
One of my children had a virtual melt down in the car on the way to school today. They have a project that’s due this morning & they thought they had more time to get it finished when it became apparent during our drive that their time had expired – hence the meltdown. As adults, I think that we also get to walk through a few crises from time to time – so here are a few tips:
procrastinating, using new tools and sleep deprivation usually combine to equal disaster (all-nighters in college were usually more harmful than helpfull)
when we get under intense pressure, we MUST manage our emotions and not let them control us or they can make the pressure more severe
during a crisis be extremely careful with your words – sometimes our mouth runneth over and makes the crisis worse
combine prayer with pressure and you can have some priceless results 🙂
Saving Moses is all about meeting the most urgent needs of babies where the care is least available – crisis management for babies 🙂
Do you ever remember going to an amusement park & getting on a ride that looked really amazing, only to wish you could get off, halfway through the ride because it was too intense? I even remember saying, “how do you make this thing stop?”
Sometimes, life needs a pause button – it can get super intense. For me, life has been pretty intense of late (back to school prep, work deadlines, etc) & I’m interested in finding that pause button. So here are some things I’ve found to be helpful (feel free to add more ideas that have helped you):
family meals – get in a few during the week & put your phones on silent: genuine conversations as a family can be very therapeutic
instead of looking at time in 1 day increments, consider looking at time in 1 week or 1 month increments – giving demands & deadlines more working space than the daily crisis mode
take a walk in the evening – did this a few nights ago & it was extremely helpful [minus the mosquitos ,) ]
God time – don’t shortchange what fuels your heart, otherwise life can go south before you know what’s happening
good diet & exercise routines – in crunch times, food & exercise can often be the 1st to get scraped; keep these routines as they can provide some good anchors to weather various storms & seasons