November 08, 2012

Crisis Faith

Psalm 62

Surely they intend to topple me… Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
—Psalm 62:4-5


Faith can seem vague and theoretical—until a crisis hits.

Then, like the spare tire in your trunk when you have a flat, your faith suddenly becomes very important. In fact, it may be the only way out of the mess you’re in.

In the middle of a crisis, all we usually hope for is some way to get the situation straightened out so that we can move on. No one likes to need faith.

As with the little spare tire that comes with most cars today (you know, the little “donut” spare that’s designed to go just a few miles), most of us are willing to rely on our faith for a little while, only as long as we need it. But just as you’ll want to get a real tire back on your car as soon as you can, so also most of us want to move past our faith reliance and find a real reason for confidence. At least that’s how it can seem.

No one likes crises, but it’s not hard to see how God can use our crises to reach us in ways that he might not reach us otherwise. Most of us pray differently—more earnestly—in times of crisis. Our fear can prod us to squint for God through the fog of our uncertainty. And the more we squint, the more we begin to see God.

How has God used crises in your life to deepen your awareness of his presence?

Lord God, when crises hit, help us to turn to you. But also help us turn to you every day of our lives. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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