When a crisis hits

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

From household and family emergencies to tragedies that affect an entire population, almost everyone has had to face a crisis of some kind.

In any case, prayer brings a sense of God's loving presence and intelligent control. Both children and parents, citizens and political leaders, can be reassured by prayer that there is a divine power at hand to help. The Bible promises that turning to God, Love, for help will bring an answer, regardless of the situation.

The writer of Psalms assures us: "Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head" (Ps. 3:1-3).

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Nothing is beyond the help of God when we seek His infinite mercy. Meekness and humility are wonderful preludes to realizing the immediate help available. Turning to the Lord as "my glory, and the lifter up of mine head" opens thought to previously unexpected solutions, and challenges the tendency to work with information within the four walls of our thinking instead of reaching out to fresh, inspired ideas.

Nothing can stop us from reaching beyond ourselves to ask God, the Creator of the universe, for light, inspiration, and practical help. Asking for help is a sign of open-mindedness and willingness to expand our wisdom and capabilities. It's a sign of strength when the most capable and confident individual turns to God in times of emergency.

Christ Jesus' example of preaching and healing and saving others is unparalleled. Yet, when he faced what seemed a zero hour situation with a man he was asked to heal, he turned to God for help. His friend Lazarus had been dead for four days, making his recovery seem impossible. Even those familiar with his raising others from the dead might have had doubts.

But Jesus turned to his heavenly Father in his dilemma: "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 11:41, 42). Lazarus came from his tomb healed and restored to life.

Asking for God's help in a time of crisis is not only a sign of open- mindedness and wisdom; it's a sign of willingness to find a solution that's bigger than our limited view of things. People who really want to be problem-solvers will look to a source higher than themselves when they feel backed up against a wall. "Thinking outside the box" in this case is looking outside ourselves for divine help.

Mary Baker Eddy was not ignorant of the crises and emergencies that face humanity. With humility as well as strength she reassured the readers of her writings. In her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she instructed those who might face a crisis in their desire to heal the sick through prayer. She wrote, "Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him" (page 421).

Whatever the emergency that confronts us, we can insist that "God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him." This calms fear. It also reassures and sustains us, and enables us to lean on God's infinite love and power to feel and experience His divine hand at work.

O Lord my God,
I cried unto thee,
and thou hast healed me.
O Lord, thou hast brought up
my soul from the grave:
thou hast kept me alive,
that I should not go down
to the pit. Sing unto the Lord,
O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance
of his holiness.

Psalms 30:2-4

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