You see it all the time. You feel it yourself. Life is rocking along at a steady clip, and then… BAM! Something happens. Something dramatic. Drastic. Paradigm shifting. Something that, though you don’t yet know the full fallout, you know when it happens that this event will be a dividing point in your life.
There was life before the diagnosis…
Before the job loss…
Before the hard conversation…
Before the revelation…
… and life after. And nothing will be the same.
Our lives are marked by these moments of crisis. And in that moment of crisis, when the earth is emotionally shifting under your feet, “stuff” starts to come out. You get angry. Or frustrated. Or worried. Or that long dormant sin starts to become a temptation again. The temptation, as we look at the remnants of life after that dividing point, the shards of broken relationships or the broken down finances or the busted up sense of self, is to look to that pink slip or call from the doctor’s office or difficult conversation as the point of causality. It’s the thought that this unexpected occurrence, whatever it is, caused these other things to come up.
But it didn’t.
Crisis doesn’t create; it only reveals what’s been there all along.
These moments of crisis, whether they be big or small, feel like you’re caught in a set of vice grips, and life is squeezing in on you from all sides. You feel like a tomato that slowly being crushed. But if you are like that tomato, then whatever comes out isn’t something from the outside; it’s something from the inside. Moments of crisis are like that; they break through the exterior with their pressure and suddenly what’s on the inside is visible on the outside.
Whatever that stuff is that comes oozing out has been there all along. The anger, the frustration, the anxiety, and bitterness – they’ve always been there. This moment of crisis only reveals them. And that’s why coming down from the dividing point of crisis is the right time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to do some serious soul work. Or maybe to put it another way – if crisis doesn’t create but only reveals, then the answer to all the fallout isn’t the removal of the crisis. It must go deeper. It must go to the heart where all those emotions have been simmering – stewing in their own juices waiting for the squeeze to come.
Of course, the anger and frustration and fear and bitterness aren’t the only things that come out during times like this.
So might leadership. And responsibility. And compassion. And humility. These things are there, too – birthed in you, Christian, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It took this moment – this one – that you’re in right now to reveal what the Lord has been cooking inside you for all those years passed.
It is, then, in these pivotal moments, that you find out both what you’re made of and what you’re not made of. It is that you see just how much work the Lord has already done and how much work there is yet to do. It is when you fall with gratefulness on His grace for His foresight and provision and fall on His grace for forgiveness of what’s not yet been molded. And then, you’re just a bit more ready for the next pivotal moment to come.