31-Day Marriage Devotion
WHAT YOU COMMUNICATE IN CRISIS COMMUNICATES A LOT ABOUT YOU
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
There are at least two parts to every crisis: (1) what is happening to you in real time and space, and (2) what is spiritually happening inside of you as the Lord matures you through the trial. The first part is usually discernible to anyone associated with the crisis. The second part is not as perceptible to the person in the crisis or those observing the crisis.
Typically when I go through a crisis, I can articulate what I am going through as well as the strategies I hope to implement to get out of the crisis. And from a practical perspective, it is important to let others know what I’m going through as well as my plans to bring the crisis to a desirable conclusion.
My friends care about me; they want to know what is going on in my life and they want to know what my “crisis management plans” are, as well as what they can do to help. Caring for others is normal and expected Christian deportment.
The Harder Side of Crisis
Discerning the second, not so obvious part of trials is imperative for the Christian. This part is less about “crisis management” and more about what your Lord is teaching you as He takes you through the crisis.
Our unbelieving culture has only one story: they can tell you what they are going through and what they plan to do about it. Their story is myopic, in that there is no other-worldly element or experience for them. They find their best hope in their strength, ability, plan, strategy, and fortitude.
But for the Christian, there is an intuitive awareness that God is not only in the background, but that He is actively speaking, working, and engaging on your behalf. The Christian understands that the story he/she is going through is more about drawing attention to God than the actual real time and space aspects of the crisis. The crisis is the Christian’s opportunity to spread the fame of Jesus near and far.
If the point of your life and marriage is more about God than yourself, which it is, then most assuredly the hardships you go through are more about the glory the Father receives than the personal comfort or security you experience.
My old friend Job reminds me of a believer who went through some of life’s most excruciating trials, but through it all, his faith, like a stained garment, bled through the pain he endured. Through the years I have found inexpressible satisfaction by Job’s trust in God. He was weak, tired, and at times he was bitter. He received little help from his friends and even his wife could have been a better supporter.
God was determined not to give Job explanations for his trials. And for Job, it did not have to make perfect sense. His faith was not resting in the hope of understanding the problem, but in a good God who was able to do the impossible.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” – Job 1:20-21
Time to Reflect
When the movie of your marriage ends, what will people remember: (1) the problems in your marriage; (2) or the God who did great things through you and your marriage problems?
Talk to your spouse about how God can be more glorified in your life and marriage?
Also published on Medium.