How to Survive a Personal Crisis

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blog | 8 comments

The picture connected to this blog is personal–I’ve been in that house many times. It is a picture of Adam, my son-in-law’s childhood home going up in flames last week. Thankfully his father, Jeff Eich, who was home at the time, was able to escape out of a second story window before the fire reached him. Thankfully, no one was injured. The picture still startles me. This lovely country home, where my daughter was married, where friends and family gathered year-after-year to celebrate holidays, was a total loss.

Fortunately, Jeff had planned for the worst and carried Homeowner’s Insurance that covered fire loss. It is one of those bills that most of us pay every year, with little thought, until it’s needed. Within a few hours, an adjuster with his national brand of insurance rolled up while the house was still burning and started the process of covering the loss. Jeff’s wisdom to retain insurance paid off–literally. While this is a massive disruption, I will look forward to a day in the future where many of us will gather for a new-house warming party when Jeff rebuilds. That’s what insurance is for—the unexpected disruption. If you live long enough, you realize that houses can burn, cars can crash, and a health crisis is just a heart-beat away.

Yet, many of us go through life unprepared for the possible disruptions that lurk around every corner. When cancer hits, we blame God. When a relationship sours like milk, we blame God. When a business partner disappears with all the cash, yeah, you get it, we blame God.

Really?

Step-back a moment and think this through. If God wanted to get even with us for some offense, do you think He would limit himself to these kinds of things? After all, as Creator, He could resurrect a T-Rex to chase us down the street (like in Jurassic Park).

Yet I’ve seen many Christians over the years experience a crisis of faith because life got tough. Jesus predicted this in his Parable of the Sower; “But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes…. they quickly fall away.” (Matthew 13:21) I believe Jesus told that story to prepare us for trouble and persecution—so we won’t fall away.

I almost fell away too, as a pastor. In that role I had experienced so much heartache in my own life and that of my people that it began to negatively affect my outlook on life and my view of God—I began to think that He either didn’t care or wasn’t there at all. It was only when I investigated the role of disruption in scripture that I realize this truth: Life is hard—for everyone—But God is good.

How can we prepare for a personal crisis? Seven steps:

  1. Know that disruption is coming—so get ready.
  2. Read the Bible stories of great men and women of the past (Noah, Abraham & Sarah, Job, Mary the mother of Jesus, to name a few). Watch how they handled adversity and learn from them.
  3. Build a network of friendships today so you’ll have someone to lean on tomorrow.
  4. Give someone a hand-up. It feels good!
  5. Control what you can (buy house insurance) and leave the rest up to God.
  6. Stop blaming God today so you won’t blame Him in the future. Blaming God can turn you into a victim instead of a victor.
  7. Trust God to redeem your story for His glory, your ultimate good and to bless the world.

I hope these suggestions help. They worked for me. And remember, you’re not crazy, life is!

Dr. Tony

8 Comments

  1. Good post today. I felt that sense of major loss (granted in a bit different way) last year. While I never blamed God, it is hard not to throw blame in other directions. I have to keep coming back to what you (and a few other friends) told me at the time, “There isn’t always a reason, sometimes bad things happen to good people.” I just have to know God will make lemonaid out those lemons. Believe me, that’s a lifesaver…

    • Thanks James, you’ve had quite a roller coaster ride the last few years and I’m proud of you for picking yourself up and pressing forward… God is working upstream on your behalf!

      • Couldn’t have done it without God and the wife He made for me. Also couldn’t have done it without the Godly men I have as friends! 🙂

  2. Great post Dr. Tony…

    Love these 7 steps… especially number 7.

    • Sounds like it came right out of a book?

  3. I really enjoyed this post … so much truth in time of crises and I’ve had my share those steps will and do absolutely help us walk through those times with Gods help and Romans 8;28 and Psalms 121 help pull me through knowing God will help me sustain me and turn evil to work together for my good ? Blessed

  4. Great book and great post when ever I am down Wich is a lot lately up keep popping up. Have a great day.love you both

  5. Great read! Know that disruption is coming—so get ready… so true.

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