Learning From Crises

Victor Folkert

READ : Judges 10:6-16

Sometimes it takes a crisis to show us how we have misplaced our priorities. A financial crisis may show us how we have trusted in the false god of materialism. A marital crisis may point to misplaced priorities and selfish desires. A sudden realization that the activity in our lives is meaningless may point to the shallowness of our motives and goals.

Like the Israelites, we then cry out to God for help. How does He respond? Sometimes He does not rescue us immediately! Sometimes He lets us remain for a while in our pain because He knows that if we are rescued too soon, we may go back to the same false gods.

When the Israelites were honest about their sins and eliminated the foreign gods from their lives, God’s compassion took over, and He rescued them from their troubles. Like a caring father, He couldn’t stand to let them suffer; yet until they were ready to change, He could not allow Himself to rescue them.

What a loving God we have! No person is beyond restoration, no matter how offensive his or her sin is. Yet when God does not deliver us from the results of our sin, it is well to ask whether we still have lessons to learn and false gods to repudiate.

PRAYER

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24). Amen.