I can pretty much guarantee that were I to survey everyone who’s ever served in ministry or cross-cultural service, I would find one hundred percent responding yes to this question: Have you ever blown a chance to give God glory in a time of crisis?
This question comes to mind due to a recent personal incident in which I found myself sick. The sickness I can handle, it was the timing of the illness that was not to my liking, because it messed up a special visit. As a result, nothing went as planned—my plan that is.
Unexpected events throw us off balance.
Whether it’s a sudden illness, a missed flight, a change in the weather, or even a government coup, nobody likes it when the proverbial wrench is thrown into an otherwise organized plan. Being human, we cannot help but be thrown off. It’s not my nature, at least, to just go with the flow and change direction on a dime. I totter, complain, get depressed, and even angry.
What I don’t do is glorify God in the midst of the storm.
I need to panic first, like the disciples, and wonder if this will capsize all my plans. I question why God would be sleeping through my pain, and if he’ll rescue me. I don’t like what this is doing to me but can’t seem to avoid being overcome with emotion. I say things—the wrong things—to people who care about me.
Of course, with the passing of time, I’m restored to my right mind and know the Lord must want to teach me something through this experience. I still don’t understand it all and I’m not happy with the situation, but I recognize God’s not surprised by any of it.
Did I blow my chance to glorify God?
In that moment, yes, but in the eyes of our gracious God, no. Thankfully, we’re not given a one-and-done chance to see him glorified in our life. He provides moments throughout the days, weeks, and years to be the source of our praise. This is one reason we call the Christian life a journey. As we travel this path of life, we will have multiple moments of highs and lows where we can let our light shine for Christ. Knowing this lets us confess our sin and find his grace.
Acknowledgment of sin is a chance to witness.
Even when the mess messed us up, we can be made right with him and with others. Asking for forgiveness from others is an opportunity to humble ourselves and glorify God’s grace. Remember, the world doesn’t do this. When they get upset over change, they see no problem with anger and bitterness taking control. They see no need to apologize over short fuses and angry words. We as Christ-followers must be different, and it is that difference that draws people to Christ.
So yes, we get upset and hurt and angry, but we also can get right again through confession and forgiveness both to God and our fellow man. In doing so, the Lord restores that which we messed up.
Have you been thrown off by an unexpected turn of events? Confess it to God and let him turn it all around to his glory. It’s possible by His…
Grace and Peace