My thoughts on the subject of crisis have evolved a lot since a year ago, when I was first approached by Encompass World Partners about developing a Crisis Response ministry. To be honest, at that time I wasn’t sure crisis ministry was a good match for me. But all that changed when I looked at the role of crisis in the Bible, and I came to a conclusion that left me wildly passionate about serving in crisis.
What conclusion did I reach? I saw that God uses crisis to move people, to change people’s hearts, minds and even their geography. The crucible of trial awakens, it shakes us from life’s patterns and routines so that we are listening differently; it readies our mind to see afresh.
But…geography? Really? Yes, even geography. Consider these well-known examples.
ISRAEL INTO EGYPT
When God wanted Israel to go into Egypt where they would grow into a great nation, how did He move them there? He sent a severe famine (crisis) and as food grew scarce, the patriarch Jacob had no choice but to seek provisions in the only land that still had food: Egypt.
His sons were welcomed by the “Egyptian” official, returning home with bulging grain sacks. Turns out that this generous official in Pharaoh’s court was none other than Joseph, their brother!
Sooo…how did brother Joseph end up in Egypt? It was by his brothers’ wicked betrayal (crisis) years before, when they treacherously sold him to traveling merchants “happening by” on their way to Egypt.
Another geographic migration brought on by crisis was 430 years later, when God used ten horrific plagues (crisis) to bring Israel, now a vast nation, out of Egypt.
MOBILIZING THE EARLY CHURCH
After Pentecost the church was exploding; Jerusalem was Christianity-Central. Believers were living and fellowshipping together and their numbers grew daily as they anxiously awaited Jesus’ return.
But weren’t they forgetting something? Oh, yeah, the Great Commission. Their town, Jerusalem, was only Phase I! So would God move the church into Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth? Through persecution (crisis) ignited by Stephen’s martyrdom (crisis).
It is clear throughout history that God uses crises – like famine, betrayal, plagues, persecution – to move people into His good and perfect purposes.
THOUGHT TO PONDER: Has God ever used a crisis or hardship to move you geographically?
What do you think? Please leave a comment.