Life is full of surprises. Ask me how I know!! But, keep in mind that nothing surprises God. He knows us - our past, present and future.
Naturally, staying calm in a crisis is much easier said than done. But, there are some ways we can prepare ourselves in the event we have to face those surprises in life. Most important is that we do our best to stay in a close relationship with God. His Holy Spirit lives within us and is there to be our comforter, our guide and our teacher.
As we mature in the ways of the Lord, we learn that He has all the answers. He IS the answer. That isn't just a "churchy" statement. Our first reactions is usually to take matters into our own hands or call everyone we know. We need to make it a habit to turn to God first, at all times in every situation. Then, it is important that we allow Him to lead us. I realize how difficult this may sound, but if we can discipline ourselves to do this in all things, we'll be better equipped to handle life's harder, unexpected events.
God knows not only what is behind us, but what is ahead of us. He can take us on a straight path to the solution of any problem. Look at it this way - if you were lost without a map and had no idea which way to go, and a good Samaritan came along and said he knew the way, he could help you. He could draw you a map and tell you about all the turns and signs along the way, or he could just say, "Follow me". Following him would be the easiest, quickest way.
That's what God does for us. He just says, "Follow me". There is no need for us to waste any time trying to work out what we are going to on our own, making wrong turns along the way. The quickest, easiest way is just to follow God. The stumbling block is for us to do is get control of our emotions and to keep our minds from imagining all sorts of scenarios.
I heard a story once that is a great illustration. It was told by a police captain who was called to an automobile accident, a really bad one. There were people everywhere - medics - policemen - firemen - and bystanders. The captain was criticized later because he seemed cold, unemotional and too far removed from the events going on around him.
He was later interviewed by a local reporter about his seemingly uncaring attitude. The captain's reply to the reporter brought a hush to the crowd and turned their outcry to one of a quiet hush and tearful eyes. He explained that in order for him to do his job, he had to remain calm and keep his mind alert. There was so much chaos all around him and so much anger and confusion that there had to be someone who could make the hard decisions and direct the others in a manner to keep order. He said that his heart was breaking inside and his mind was racing, but it was mandatory that he keep his mind focused so that he could do his job.
If we all fall apart in a crisis there is confusion and chaos. There must be order. God is a God of order. We can see all throughout the Scriptures that God had a plan from the very beginning of time. We cannot presume that we know better than He does. We can't know better. God is our strength and our refuge. He knows the way out. He has the answers.
Some would say that they can't control their emotions, which is a lie they have believed from satan. Their emotions take over and they can then cause other problems that have to be addressed, adding to the already bad situation and taking up valuable, possibly life-threatening time. Controlling our emotions is a matter of self-control. It's not that we can't, it's that we don't want to.
It's not easy to control our emotions when everything within us is screaming and our hearts are racing. We think we don't have time to talk to God about it. If we proceed without Him, it's kind of like jumping off the top of a building and calling out to God to save you. We can't unscramble eggs. We can avoid making our situation worse by taking just a few minutes to ask God for His help. We can ask Him for the peace we need and to direct us as we make decisions. It just takes a moment to call out to Him. And, that moment can change the entire outcome of the situation. The Bible tells us to acknowledge God in all our ways.
Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. NIV
We all want our path to be as straight as possible. The key is to acknowledge God. Put Him first, not last. Don't be guilty of making Him an afterthought. Don't take detours, follow God's path. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Matt 11:28-30 28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." NIV
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