Crisis for a Purpose by Pauline Youd by Pauline Youd - Read Online

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Crisis for a Purpose - Pauline Youd

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WHY ME?

I was twelve years old, skating with my girlfriend on the sidewalk in front of her house. We decided to do a trick we’d seen done in a movie the day before. We grabbed hands and I swung her through my spread legs. Of course I was supposed to bring her back up to a standing position, but she lost her footing and fell, hitting the back of her head on the sidewalk. She was holding on to my hands so I had no chance to stop my fall and I landed on my face, breaking my two front teeth.

Looking back I can recall the whole incident as if it were in slow motion. I remember running home with blood all over my face, clutching the two pieces of my teeth and praying all the way that this wasn’t true, that it was only a dream. But it really was true. I had indeed broken my two front teeth.

I remember my mother washing my face and trying to determine the extent of damage done to my mouth. At the same time my father was removing my skates and scolding me for doing silly stunts. Thoughts of what I was going to look like filled my mind. Would I have to have false teeth like my grandmother? Would I be uglier than I already thought I was? I was painfully shy anyway. Would I withdraw even more?

My mother made an ice pack which I held to my swollen upper lip. Daddy called the dentist.

As a result of my fall, one tooth died immediately and the dentist had to do root canal work on it. The other tooth lived for a year during which time it was covered with a shiny silver band, the year I didn’t smile for pictures. A few dental surgeries later, both teeth were replaced, and today you would never know about my crisis unless I told you.

If you told me about your crisis, the events would undoubtedly be different, but our feelings might be the same – despair, fear, hopelessness, sorrow, anger, perhaps embarrassment or humiliation.

Crises seem to be common in human life, but for what purpose? Can good come out of what we would consider bad?

Crises can make us more compassionate and empathetic. If someone goes through what you have experienced, you know how he feels.

Crises can teach us humility. For a time, we are not so self-reliant and must depend on others for help.

Some crises force us to take immediate action which suddenly unveils our bravery or cowardice.

A long crisis helps us develop patience.

All crises give us the opportunity to choose.

God gave the Bible to us as a guidebook to life. Within its pages are examples of people in crisis. How did they deal with their problems?

Giving Up What is Dearest

God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. He further promised that from Abraham’s descendents one would come who would bless the whole world. But year after year Abraham remained childless. Finally when he was 99 years old and his wife Sarah was 98, well past the time when she expected to have a baby, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.

Sarah and Abraham poured their lives into this child. Then one day God told Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice for his sin. Such a command was contrary to everything Abraham knew about God. How could God ask him to give up his beloved son? How would the world be blessed through him if he died? What did Abraham decide to do? What would you do?

Pain and Suffering

In God’s perfect sovereignty He allowed Satan to destroy all of Job’s possessions, plus his children and their families. Although Job didn’t know it, a challenge had been issued in heaven. Satan told God that Job only loved and followed Him because God had made him rich.

When Job, overcome by sorrow, refused to turn his back on God, Satan again presented a challenge. He said if Job developed a disabling disease he would surely curse God. So God allowed Satan to touch Job’s body, but not to kill him. Job became ill, covered with painful sores. His friends thought he was repulsive. Even his wife advised him to curse God and die. What did Job decide to do? What would you do?

Taking a Stand

As a young man, Jeremiah saw violence and injustice throughout his nation. Then Josiah became king of Judah and began to turn the nation back to God. Jeremiah stood on the sidelines silently cheering him on. He knew what was right, but he was afraid to take a stand publicly for God.

Unexpectedly, King Josiah was killed in battle and a new, godless king came to the throne. Now Jeremiah knew, even if he had to stand alone, he must proclaim God’s word.

God told Jeremiah to warn the people that if they didn’t follow his commands, He would allow them to be conquered and taken captive to a distant country. Jeremiah tried warning the people, but nobody listened. Instead, they laughed, made fun of him, and became abusive. They called him a traitor and even tried to kill him. What should Jeremiah do? Should he run, hide, defect to the enemy, or keep warning the people? What would you do?

Shattered Dreams

Peter left his fishing business to follow Jesus. Peter was ambitious; he had always wanted to be important. Jesus told him he would make him influential with people - a fisher of men. But Jesus was gentle and not in a hurry, while Peter always tried to find the most expedient way to do things. Jesus loved Peter, and with great care and patience trained and taught him to act in love. One terrible night Roman soldiers came and arrested Jesus. A mob demanded his death because he claimed to be God. Peter couldn’t believe what was happening. Stunned, confused and frightened, he denied three times that he even knew Jesus. Then he saw Jesus with his hands tied together. Jesus didn’t say a word. He just looked at Peter, and Peter turned and ran away, wretched and sobbing.

The next day the soldiers crucified Jesus. As far as Peter was concerned, his life, too, was over. Jesus was gone...dead, and the last thing He heard Peter say was that he didn’t even know Him. Peter might as well have killed the best friend he ever had. How could he go on in this sorrow and shame? What would you do?

Crisis is a tuning point or crossroad in life. Like the sun that can both melt wax and harden clay, so crisis can be the occasion that either draws us to God or drives us from Him.

Read on now, and see what choices Abraham, Job, Jeremiah, and Peter made during the crises they encountered in their lives.

RISKING THE FUTURE

I

Abram! Abram, how much longer must we travel before we find this land of yours? Sarai complained, wiping the sweat and dust from her face.

God will tell us, Sarai, Abram replied patiently. God will tell us.

Sarai sighed. When they stopped to rest and water their animals, she again pleaded, Abram, tell me again exactly what God said.

Despite his seventy-five years and the fatigue from the long journey, Abram’s eyes were alive with excitement as he came and sat next to her under a tamarisk tree. Don't you remember the promise, Sarai? he said. To me, God’s promise is as real and vivid as if He just spoke.

He cupped her face with his hands and looked into her eyes. "He promised that if I would follow Him, He