This question, emphasizing today, is one that has many responses. It is a loaded question. Or is it?
It has been said that people react to an emergency for a reason — something has exceeded their threshold for concern. Who do they call? 911? What if 911 isn’t available or accessible for everyone’s emergency? What should they do?
In a blizzard, the familiar disappears because swirling snow obscures our vision. Emergencies bring about the same effect in our minds. They create fear that cloud our ability to think. What is fear? “Fear is a false experience appearing real.” But can you be saved from fear, by a super quick, ultra convenient response — served up speedily “your own way?” When fear arrives, many want an immediate resolution.
Before and during Christ’s time, emergencies happened. We can read about them in the Old and New Testament of the Bible. How were they handled? Some may say it appeared that God was unconcerned, too slow to respond, and pretty inefficient. Could this be your response?
Take, for instance, the story of Rachel in childbirth. She experienced hard labor, delivered a baby, and died (Genesis 35: 16-19.) I’ve heard some people say, how could God allow that to happen?
Another example is found in John 11:17-27, when Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, became very sick. Jesus was called to come and heal him. He delayed his coming, and Lazarus died. Were his sisters happy with Jesus for delaying His coming?
Lastly, Jesus was asleep on a ship with the disciples. There arose a great storm of high winds, crashing waves, and the ship filling up with water, which frightened the disciples. Perhaps they thought Jesus had forgotten them. Asleep on the ship, they awoke Christ, he rebuked the storm, the wind ceased and became calm. What was Christ’s response to the disciples in this perceived emergency? “Why are ye so fearful?” “How is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:37-41).
Too impatient to wait? The prospect of waiting cannot only be distasteful to most people, but down right threatening. Ok. So people don’t want to wait for “the” answer. On the other hand, some people talk themselves down from “worry” when they realize it really does not need attention—fast.
Perhaps the root problem isn’t people’s impatience, but the fact that there’s a lack of faith. Many profess to know God, and say they have faith. But when the trials and tests come, how is that faith exercised?
Jesus, experienced several emergencies in his life. How did he handle them? By trusting in His Father explicitly. In fact, He entered into many of those experiences, in order that we might not have to encounter them. Thankfully, God has given us some promises to help us find our way through all our trials.
Just how big is your God in the face of life’s emergencies? There will be emergencies to face until Jesus comes. What’s needed now is what was needed over two thousand years ago — the faith of Jesus. Without it, “it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
Any emergency is an unwelcome fact of life, but it can have value. Often what we wanted to avoid turns out to be the very thing we needed. The Lord calls us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and to acknowledge that we are helpless without Him (John 15:5).
God promises that when we face challenging times, He will keep His divine eye upon us. He wants to be our teacher and guide through the difficulty, but we must position ourselves to respond to His signals. Thankfully, God has given us some promises to help us find our way through these emergencies. Ponder this quote, “God has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal.” E.G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 660.
Then, what’s the urgency? God asks that we have a tender heart, a teachable spirit, and a yielded will. Does this describe you? The emergency is finding rest in Him. “Take my yoke, upon you…and ye shall find rest for your souls”( Matthew 11:29).
Many choose to call 911, but for those who hold on to God’s everlasting arm, the Great Physician now is near, the sympathizing Jesus. He knows by experience, the emergencies every human will face. When we cry to Him for help, His hand is stretched out to save. This invitation is open to all!