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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Are We Having a Crisis?
Date Posted: July 28, 2007

I suppose everyone has a different definition of what constitutes a crisis. For my children, someone walking in front of the TV during their favorite show or the vending machine being out of their favorite soda is grounds for getting red-faced and agitated. One Kindergarten teacher I know asks students who are frantic for her attention, "Is anyone dying, bleeding or having a bathroom emergency?" The reply is usually negative and she goes on with her teaching. I suppose most moms have similar criteria. For me to get excited someone probably has to be bleeding or unconscious, water must be pouring onto something that should never get wet, or a child or animal must have been missing for more than five minutes. Usually.

Where should I turn when the crisis comes? Probably to the closest calm adult within shouting range. Sometimes I have called my husband, other times my parents. It depends on the nature of the crisis. Ironically, sometimes I forget to turn to the One who can be the biggest help and comfort. When that crisis hits, there's always time for a quick prayer even as I take action to improve the situation. In a prolonged or emotional crisis there is time for crying on my knees and pouring over scripture in order to hear God's voice.

The word crisis often appears in the headlines followed by words like "health", "ozone", "political", or "war" - the things of the world. Rarely is there news of a morality crisis or a faith crisis. How can I even recognize something so elusive? Perhaps that recognition comes through that time on my knees. I believe God will try to avert a crisis of faith or morality by giving me little warning signs like "Hey, haven't heard from you in awhile. How about lunch?" If I ignore that suggestion and walk head-on into a crisis situation, God is still there trying to halt the crisis. That's when I sometimes brush off that niggling little voice or the advice of someone wiser than I and say, "I can handle this!"

Then, when I'm slogging, struggling or being swallowed up by the crisis, God is there with a strong hand, a life preserver or even a cable and winch to haul me out of the mess. "Never will I leave your; never will I forsake you," God promises throughout scripture in Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5 and again in Hebrews 13:5. That means even in the midst of a crisis - of my own making.

The examples of God pulling people out of crisis are all over scripture. They are all over my life as well; I just don't always choose to give God credit for rescuing me in a crisis. Instead I think, "I handled that pretty well, I was calm, I kept everyone else calm and I knew what to do." (Yeah, right!)

I have a good friend who has experienced several major crises over the last year. She often calls me to talk and I sometimes wonder why? I don't have the answers. I haven't even been through all that she has and don't know how it feels. But God does. Many times I have given her words of encouragement or quoted scripture to her or even just shared a book by one of my favorite inspirational authors and she has told me, "You know what you said the other day . . . I could really feel God speaking to me."

Wow! That puts me up there with Moses or Samuel! Seriously, I believe God not only will speak to us in our crisis, but often will speak through us to lift others up.

Take10 minutes this week to encourage someone in crisis and 10 more minutes to thank God for bringing you through the day.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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