Being there in the crisis (3)
In a crisis people often fail to see the resources that God has made available to them. Here are three types: 1) Spiritual resources. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1 KJV). This ‘very present’ God illuminates our darkness and confusion. His love is the source of all comfort (see 2 Corinthians 1:3). His presence addresses our loneliness, and His power addresses our helplessness. 2) Personal resources. People in crisis forget that God has given them strengths and abilities which include faith, skills, memories of past triumphs, empowering attitudes, and motivations. Reminding them of these encourages them to ‘take back their power’. 3) Interpersonal resources. Most people already have support networks; they just need to be activated. There are family members, friends, business associates, and neighbours willing to pitch in when asked. Community resources are also available for medical, financial, and material assistance. And the church can find ways to apply the ‘great commandment’ in crisis times (see Matthew 22:36-39). Members can be invited to pray, give money, provide practical assistance like meals, help with the children, transportation, etc. People are reluctant to ask for help because they’re embarrassed and feel they should be able to handle their own problems, or think they’re failing by ‘accepting charity’. Help them to understand that others are happy to help, and that one day they can ‘return the blessing’.