Thursday, March 6, 2014

A healing crisis

Webster defines crisis as "the decisive moment."
I like that definition. It speaks of the great significance of a crisis.
In a crisis there comes a turning point, either for better or worse. There is a change on the horizon, the question is what will the change bring?
In Acts 9 Saul encounters a situation of crisis proportions. He is traveling along the road headed to Damascus when he is literally brought to the ground when he encounters the voice of God. There was a great light, a thundering sound and Saul heard God speak. When Saul was able to stand up again he was faced with a sudden crisis of sight. He was left completely blind.
Just moments earlier he had been capable of seeing. He had been walking along with his traveling companions on a journey to continue spreading murderous threats to Christians whom he had a reputation of persecuting. And then, in an instant, he was brought to his knees and rendered blind.
I would call that a crisis.
Saul was at a critical point in his life. He had to choose whether or not to follow the directive given to him by God“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:6). In the climax of his crisis he had to decide if he would get up and rely on God to provide direction for his next steps. 
Saul listened and got up. For three days he was blind. But then God sent Ananias to touch Saul's eyes and bring restoration to his sight. 
Immediately following his healing Saul "got up and was baptized" (Acts 9:18). Through his obedience to God's command given in crisis Saul was brought to repentance and given miraculous healing of his soul. It was through the acute trauma of his crisis that he was brought to his knees, literally and spiritually, before the Almighty God. 
Saul's conversion is a powerful display of God's ability to use crises to claim His lost children. He uses crises to restore and renew. He uses crises to heal and repair. He uses crisis to save wayward souls.
God still uses crisis to redeem His beloved. I know because He's done it for me.
I've had crises of faith and crises of the physical nature. Sin has sent my world crashing down around me, leading to a critical decision point in my walk of faith.
More recently I've been faced with a health crisis. The faltering state of my physical being has put me into crisis mode. In all of the pain and suffering I know that I am at a turning point. This is my cross roads, my decisive moment.
I have a choice. I can rely on God, trusting that He has a way out of the crisis already plotted and planned for me. Or I can turn from God in anger and frustration, losing patience with His process and doubting His omnipotence.
Saul was faced with a similar predicament. He was left blinded on the road. His options were clear. He could continue to scorn and mock God or he could stop persecuting God and submit to His will, trusting that God would provide the directive and steps to take on the road ahead.
Saul got up.
At the most critical moment of his crisis, Saul got up off the ground and followed God.
That decision changed everything for Saul. It led to his physical healing and, more importantly, it brought about repentance and a rebirth of his spirit.
When I am faced with a crisis I need to remind myself of Saul fallen on his knees on that rocky, dusty road to Damascus. I need to remember God's words that commanded, "get up."
In a crisis it can be tempting to stay flat out on the ground, paralyzed by fear, frustration, impatience and confusion. But God has shown that when we get up and follow His guidance He will lead us out of our crisis into renewed healing and salvation! He uses the crisis to restore us, better than we were before. Saul had once been a persecutor of Christians, threatening and jailing those who proclaimed Jesus Christ as their Savior. But God used a crisis to break Saul's sin and bring him to repentance and salvation. He used a crisis to bring about healing for his sight and his soul.
I needed reminded that God can use my most dire of circumstances and critical of crises to save me and renew me. There are times I want to curl up in a ball, refusing to get up and face the difficulty of the crisis. But if I will allow God to use my crisis He can use it to bring about glorious redemption and restoration.
God has the power to touch this broken and weak physical body, making it strong, beautiful and whole! He has already shown His healing power by saving my soul that was deep in sin, lost in a sea of evil and corruption. He took me through a crisis of faith so He could bring about my rebirth. His power to heal is still just as powerful today as it was then. I know that God can use the crisis in my physical body to bring about glorious healing for His name's sake.
Beloved, if you are faced with a crisis today I urge you to get up. Follow God. Give Him the glory in the midst of your crisis. He has the power to do a miraculous work in you through this decisive moment in your life. Give Him that honor. Submit to that power. Let God have His way in your life through the work of your crisis.

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