I don’t mean the agony/ecstasy of your favorite pro or college team snatching victory from the jaws of defeat…or vice versa. As you know, they’re not playing right now. I’m not referring to the latest stubbed toe, hangnail, or paper cut.
What’s the latest challenge to blindside you? Medical, physical, relational, emotional? Unexpected difficulties rise up as sure as the sun each morning. We can’t avoid them. The question is: how do you deal with them? How will you deal with the newest one to hit you…maybe even today?
You’ve been living in a cave if you’re unaware of what’s going on worldwide and nationwide regarding the Covid-19/Coronoavirus pandemic. Things keep changing by the day, even the hour. Regardless of your view of this “crisis,” it’s here and there’s plenty of fear.
The gist of the phrase “never waste a crisis” did not famously originate with Rahm Emanuel (President-elect Obama’s then chief-of-staff) in 2008. For all I know, one of the ancient Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato, etc.) muttered something like this.
This phrase, now commonly applied to economic or diplomatic crises that can be exploited to advance political agendas, can be traced back to at least 1976, when M. F. Weiner wrote an article in the journal Medical Economics entitled “Don’t Waste a Crisis — Your Patient’s or Your Own.” Weiner meant by this that a medical crisis can be used to improve aspects of personality, mental health, or lifestyle.
Let’s apply it spiritually. Every crisis is an opportunity to trust Jesus and possibly share the truth of the Gospel. Seriously. Every single challenge offers this. Even, and dare I say especially, the Covid-19/Coronavirus pandemic. So, don’t waste these opportunities. See them – and seize them – for what they are. Blessings for growth in the midst of life’s journey.
You have a choice to make every time a crisis hits, be it personal or national. What will you do? How will you react? How will you handle it? Take your cue from King Jehoshaphat who, when confronted with impossible odds and certain defeat at the hands of an enemy, said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you, (Lord).” (2 Chronicles 20:12b)
A New Testament version of this: “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author of our faith and the one who brings it to its goal.” (Hebrews 12:2) During the entirety of the Covid-19/Coronavirus event, let’s combine common sense with confidence in Christ. Let’s spend more time looking at Jesus and less time looking at the things that fill us (and the world) with fear.
And daily, join with the psalmist in declaring, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.” (Psalm 78:4)
Then, truly, no crisis will ever go to waste.
God keep you in his gracious care,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand