The energy crisis.
If you were born the 1960’s or earlier, you may retain memories of long lines at the gas stations. OPEC, which controlled much of the world’s oil production at that time, held the world hostage by restricting production, driving up oil and fuel prices, and resulting in extreme shortages around this country in the early 1970’s. Growing up in Hawaii, the shortages were exacerbated since all fuel needed to be imported from the mainland. Rationing was enforced and if your license plate ended in an even number, you were allowed to fill up gas on even days and likewise if an odd number, on odd days. However, this assumed that one was able to obtain gasoline. Even with the rationing, shortages prevailed and many gas stations simply ran out of gas or would secretly reserve their meager supplies for friends and relatives.
Our family suffered along with everyone else. But one day, the crisis bubbled over. My father was stranded, out of gas near his office. He literally had to push his car to the side of the street. Desperate, he walked a block to the nearest gas station. He only casually knew the owner but boldly introduced himself. “Tanaka-san, I work down the street from you.” The owner had heard of my father and extended his hand. “My car is out of gas and it is not my day to fill up and…” Mr. Tanaka smiled and said, “Don’t worry, Doc. I’ll have my men bring some gas to your car. And anytime you need gas, just come see me, I’ll take care of you.”
From that day, he and my father became friends. I even worked at his gas station for a summer job. From a crisis, peace and friendship emerged.
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:19 (ESV)
For the followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, His Crucifixion was the worst imaginable crisis. Their leader, the one to whom they devoted their lives for three years, was dead. And in the midst of this crisis, cowering in fear behind locked doors, Jesus manifested His glory! Jesus brings us peace during our darkest moments.
Crises place a terrible toll upon all of us. Many years ago, I learned an important lesson how a crisis can result in good. A few years later, in the midst of a profound personal crisis, God, through His grace and mercy, brought me to my knees and I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. The Bible dramatically shows us that during a crisis, we can choose to wallow in self-pity and grouse about our circumstances or we can turn to Jesus Christ, who always brings His peace and comfort.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.