As this country is recovering from the COVID19 pandemic and grappling with the chaos and destruction of protests against police brutality, there are many questions that are being raised from all sides of the political and cultural spectrum.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This quotation has been attributed to many people, most recently, Rahm Emmanuel, the former Chief of Staff to President Obama. In reality, the ancient Chinese had created a written character for their word for crisis and it was composed of two characters signifying danger and opportunity or a changing point.
When a crisis occurs, one can panic or recognize there are opportunities to heal and move society forward. Unfortunately, evil competing forces are also seizing upon this crisis and co-opting it for their own nefarious schemes. Under the banner of protesting for racial justice, thugs are using it as a pretext to loot business and even murder innocent people.
Thousands of years ago, the Israelites faced a crisis. After forty years of wandering in the desert, they were now on the border of the land that God promised to give them. Moses chose twelve men to spy out the territory. While it was lush and rich in resources, ten of them balked at the task that was before them, fearful of the inhabitants of the land. However, one of them, Caleb, supported by Joshua, spoke up and attempted to encourage the Israelities.
But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge.”
Numbers 13:30-32 (NLT)
Every crisis brings danger and an opportunity for change. How we respond will mean the difference between fomenting more crises or moving forward to a better solution that can prevent future ones. Caleb and Joshua trusted God’s promises to deliver them. The others succumbed to their fears and used it as a pretext to disobey God and add to the crisis.
The Bible always reminds every believer in Jesus Christ that God never abandons us. During the most serious crisis, He is always walking alongside us. Even if we cannot see His presence, He will make His guidance and power known. We are to respond by relying upon God’s promises to deliver us through every circumstance, no matter how hopeless it first appears. When the situation appears the darkest is an opportunity for a Christian to be salt and light to a hurting and broken world.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.