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A Model in Crisis


In the midst of economic decline, agricultural setbacks and the coming invasion of an enemy country, the prophet Habakkuk, his heart pounding for fear and legs quivering, resolutely makes a critical decision.


In the midst of economic decline, agricultural setbacks and the coming invasion of an enemy country, the prophet Habakkuk, his heart pounding for fear and legs quivering, resolutely makes a critical decision.

 

Even though “shaking in his boots” he chooses to trust God, keep his focus on Him and rely on His empowerment to get through the crisis (read it for yourself Habukkuk 3:14-19). Was he crazy?

In the midst of impending doom destined to smash his country under the judgment of God another prophet Isaiah penned these words when all around him was in complete chaos: “And I will wait for the Lord who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him” (Isaiah 8:17).

Look eagerly for the Lord? How can they do this? Are they not living in reality?

Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling “When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Signs of my Presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes that really see. “

Eyes that really see…

I have a dear friend who is dying of cancer – a painful and extremely difficult process. It is both evident and instructive how in the midst of this family crisis and impending loss they are noticing the Presence of Christ. He is there; He is Present and they are experiencing deep joy and calmness.
 
Yesterday her son sent this email unabridged here –
Update 1:Dear Sweet Friends and Family,This is Pat writing a quick update on Monday. Mom was discharged Friday. She had Mike and Beth and Christen and Lauren come and stay and cook and encourage. Then, on Saturday, everyone came to our house and we had the 56th 'Anniversary Picnic' she'd asked for. We spent all evening laughing and playing and enjoying a beautiful evening outdoors. We watched videos of mom and dad's wedding! Then we pulled out more family movies. Lauren and Christen sang "Tenderly". It was a really special anniversary. Sunday was special as well. Thanks for all the prayers.


Today, mom awoke at 4 AM with stomach pains and it appears the blockage has recurred. We are at St. Joe's ER with the wonderful Dr. Boyle and some amazing and calming nurses. God is very good – even in the midst of a hospital ER visit. Please pray for an easy procedure and good relief…then wisdom as we pray about next steps.
Mom is laughing and encouraging the nurses…so, so far so good. Thank you for the love and prayers.


Update 2: It's Pat again…mom has a naso-gastric tube in to take pressure off her abdomen. The process of inserting the tube was 150% better than a week ago. The nurse was amazing – confident and easy-going. Mom is calm and resting well. They will do a CT scan to see what is going on, and admit her for a day or so – just to make her more stable. We'll see in a day if she can be discharged. Pray for that! Thanks for your love and the prayers – they are being answered!
 Pat


Only God could enable responses like Habakkuk, Isaiah and the Coyle family have in the midst of their severe circumstances. The common thread is their choice to focus on God with an attitude of thanksgiving no matter what. God blesses that choice as the psalmist declares  “The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His loving kindness.” Psalm 147:11 May God give us grace to choose the same focus.

 

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Gail Seidel

Gail Seidel served as Mentor Advisor for Spiritual Formation in the Department of Spiritual Formation and Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and as an Adjunct Professor in the D Min in Spiritual Formation in the D Min Department at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has a BA in English from the University of Texas, a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Seminary and a D Min in Spiritual Formation from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is a contributor to the textbook, Foundations of Spiritual Formation, Kregel Academic. She served as co-director for Christian Women in Partnership Russia with Entrust, an international church leadership-training mission. She and her husband Andy live in Fredericksburg, Texas. They have 2 married children and 6 wonderful grandchildren--Kami, Kourtney, Katie, Mallory, Grayson, and Avery.