Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.
One night in a dream I heard, “Creation, not reaction.”
Then, “It is the nature of God to create, not react.”
My first reaction to crisis is to want do something. I need to feel useful.
And maybe a little bit less out of control.
Frequently my running around trying to fix things or trying to solicit help, or at least sympathy, has just complicated matters.
Until we experienced a natural disaster via our son and family when they became homeless after a flood, we probably would have reacted the same way as many well-meaning folk who felt a need to “do something.”
Some of the truckloads of used clothing and household goods they worked so hard to gather and ship to the beleaguered areas ended up in a landfill. Where does a town put this all low priority stuff when buildings have been destroyed? Where does the manpower to sort and distribute come from when every available person is shovelling knee-deep mud out of the kitchen or dragging mattresses saturated with sewage to the street? What seemed like a good idea ended up adding to the pain of loss.
I was very impressed by the Mennonite aid agency. After the big name rescue agencies left and the cameras and talking heads moved on to another story the Mennonites erected a building they could work from. They knew from experience that restoration was a long term commitment. Their actions were well thought out. They had a creative long term plan.
In matters of immediate threat to life rescue is essential. But I find when I feel pressured to react to hypothetical crisis (“If this doesn’t happen soon it could be really bad,”) the sense of urgency often comes from a source other than God. Sometimes the hardest action to take is to wait on God.
God chooses when to move. He does not react to the enemy’s attacks that goad us into rash reactions to his terrorist threats. God is in charge of the timetable, not the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.
His answers are creative and sometimes even shockingly counter-intuitive. Who sends a choir and marching band to meet an army hell-bent on your destruction? Who arranges for a prisoner accused of sexual assault to save an entire country from starvation? Who defends a people from genocide by setting up an orphan girl with an enemy king (a situation which in other times and places would have been called fraternizing)?
When our prayers are more about worrying at God (because he doesn’t seem to be taking the situation seriously enough) we are tempted to start dictating what he needs to do. Praying “precise prayers” without precise understanding of his intentions is trying to micromanage the Creator of the Universe. Good luck with that.
Jesus is never stops interceeding for us. With joy. How is he praying in your crisis?
Can you drop the frantic unproductive busyness, clear the noisy fearful voices from your head and wait patiently for the voice of peace to whisper to your heart? What is he wanting to create in you in the midst of all this? What is he wanting to create in your sphere of influence through you?
Be still. Wait.
This is going to be good.