Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Show me one person who has not been through a crisis. I guarantee your search will be futile. The nature of a crisis is defined by challenges and difficulty, but most importantly, changes. It’s sometimes hard to believe that the most painful seasons in life can teach the most powerful lessons and reap the biggest rewards. If I had seen the crisis before it struck, I perhaps would have figured out a way to avoid colliding into it. You know those road signs that warn you of impending danger or obstruction ahead so you can either slow down or change course? Couldn’t God give us a few of these in real life?
Perhaps it would take the thrill out of life though and may give us a lot more power than we can handle. Knowing our nature as humans, we would run from every crisis and miss the whole character development and submission bit. God is so much more concerned about our character than the impending crises that we're approaching.
Not because His plans are perfect means they aren’t painful.
That one went deep.
My personal story is one of resilience, determination, and triumph in adversity. The path I’m on today I never once envisioned for myself. In fact, to date, I still crave much-needed answers and direction as I forge ahead in the midst of my personal crisis. I feel like something (or someone) took my life off course. Is it a move of God? Perhaps He thought derailing me was the only way to get my attention and channel me into my true purpose. Or could it be a move of Satan? He doesn’t want me to reach my fullest potential so he tries to intercept my path and frustrate me with roadblocks. Whatever the verdict, life doesn’t always go the way we envision and we oftentimes question, “Why me?” and "Why couldn't things be different?" The journey of life leaves us with questions and qualms that truly, only God Himself can answer accurately. I would love to know the story behind every pitfall in my life. I have some serious questions for God when I get to heaven. Don’t you?
We hear the cliché phrases, “God has a plan”, “It will work out in due season”, “Try again”, but Ummm... Those are not exactly what you want to hear when your life is going haywire. Not to mention the additional sting when people constantly probe for updates on your life; a life you've lost control of; literally. I mean, it does get overwhelming especially when everyone has high expectations of you and had their personal blueprint for your life. The introvert in me wants to escape to the mountains. Ask my friends, I keep telling them I'm going up into the mountains and they call me crazy. Jesus went up into the mountains to pray. Leggo mi let me be great!
They say that God is a good God, that His plans concerning us are perfect. In fact, the Bible puts it this way, “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18: 30). If God is good, why does He allow ‘bad' things to happen to us? No matter how ‘Christian’ you are, you have asked or maybe thought briefly about this question. Hey, you’re human! Even Jesus while on the cross asked, "If possible, let this cup pass from me! ". To Jesus, it was persecution, but to the Father, it was the purpose (for the sake of mankind). Could it be the same for us?
Are the occurrences we consider bad, really ‘bad’ though? Or is it just a matter of perspective? Well, even if they are ‘bad', the outcome is expected to be good. Apparently, ALL things are to work in our favor. Romans 8:28 puts it this way, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. It surely doesn’t feel this way at times, but He did say His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55: 8-9) and perhaps what we see as pitfalls today could become pinnacles tomorrow. Perhaps it’s just a matter of perspective.
Can crises really equip us to impact?
When you find yourself in a spot where you don’t know where to turn, you start to dig deep for solutions. In Jamaica, when residents wish to get the attention of the Member of Parliament or the Government, they organize a protest and set up a roadblock. Most times, it is on a thoroughfare that is frequently used by commuters. The message rings home clearly if it causes significant disruption. Depending on the intensity of the protest, vehicles are oftentimes forced to use other routes (which are oftentimes longer) resulting in persons being late for work, school and other business. Very inconvenient, but sometimes refreshing because the most beautiful paths are the ones least trod. In the midst of a crisis, an opportunity is presented for sightseeing and discovery; an opportunity to observe the hidden places and spaces of Jamaica.
Road-blocked. Detour left.
This is exactly how I felt; like roadblocks have been mounted in my way to divert me. Being diverted forced me to seek alternate routes to get to my destination. Yes, it’s a long journey. Yes, I would love to have it figured all out. Yes, I sometimes feel like it’s taking too long. Yes, I have questions too. Yes, I would love for the crisis to end. My journey has coerced me onto routes I never envisioned, but the beauty of it is that I am enjoying the new discoveries on this path. Instead of murmuring about wasted years, wallowing in self-pity and mulling over the past [could haves, should haves, would haves], I am on a treasure hunt within and the mission is proving to be rewarding.
All this time, the treasures existed; untouched and unused because they were UNTAPPED.
Untapped is used to describe something that has not yet been used or taken advantage of (of a supply of something valuable). For example, it is oftentimes said that Jamaica has a lot of untapped creative talent, which translates that we are yet to make the best use of the innate creativity that has been bestowed upon our people. Should we tap into this reservoir, we would never have to fight to survive.
Have you ever ran out of cash and out of desperation, you started searching your jeans pocket frantically hoping to find some cash?
You may have overlooked that ‘hidden treasure’ had you not been presented with this crisis- being broke. Let’s put it this way, you hit a low point financially. If your pocket is never empty, you may never feel compelled to look in uncommon places. The depth of those pockets finally gets revealed. If you never fail or get to a point where you are out of options, you will never search frantically for solutions; all of which are already within you.
In life, we run out of options either by divine appointment (because God is a thug like that) or, life just happens and you sometimes find yourself in a place of, “WHAT NOW?. The reality is that, like the gas gauge on a car, we’ve all hit that all-time low of ‘E’, our engines stall, the transmission fails and our ‘mode of transportation’ shuts down.
At this point, you have no choice, but to call for roadside assistance. You’re stranded on a stretch of land because what you thought could transport you from one point to another has miserably failed you. Ok, it’s time for divine help. Not that you weren’t consulting Him before, but things have taken an unexpected turn and you need some urgent and speedy assistance. “Fada God help!”
Guess what He does?
He shows up; not in the way you want, but He shows up nonetheless. And if you give Him the chance, He gives your life a complete overhaul. He doesn’t only fill you up so your gas gauge can move to ‘F’(Faith), He re-configures you to function better than you did before. In those moments when you feel stranded, the crises forge a divine encounter that facilitates a more intimate dialogue and encounter that guarantees transformation and this is what EQUIPS US TO IMPACT. It is during this process that He now meets us at our point of need and performs a great work in us. The crises in our lives create opportunities that force us into a realm that facilitates His miraculous work in our lives. I oftentimes tell people that I am a miracle because I never once thought I could stand before a crowd and deliver a sermon or keynote address, emcee an event, write a book (that actually transforms lives through the Word of God) or coach people into their prophetic destiny. If I am charting my path towards impact, so can you. God has been using me in various areas to equip, empower and edify His people and it has been an honor to be used by such a great God. To be able to guide people towards transformation using God’s Word is a great responsibility that I approach with much gravity. It's no easy feat, but whom God calls, He qualifies...
Take the leap towards impact today despite the crisis you are facing. Are you ready to impact? If you are, click here.
When you’re out of options, God becomes the only option.
When you choose Him, you choose purpose. It therefore means that your biggest mistake can morph into your most powerful message; the arrow launched to assassinate you can be used to accelerate you; the crisis meant to cripple you can CREATE you into the indomitable anointed and gifted man and woman God created you to be. It’s time to dig deeper into His Word and His presence. If you would like to be empowered by the Word of God, to be reminded of the power and authority within you and experience a shift in your mind, body, and spirit, invest in my book, “Equipped to Impact: A 40 Day Journey to an Empowered Life”. It provides a proven system of holistic transformation through the daily charges and calls to action for 40 days [ a biblically significant number]. You may secure a copy
Will you choose to be crippled or created? A crisis is simply is a reminder that ‘Christ-Is'. It’s all a matter of perspective.
God sees 9, but you see 6. He's way ahead.
That's the conclusion of the matter.
About the Author:
Shanique Shand is a woman of God intent on fulfilling her prophetic destiny as a
global pollinator - a carrier of the Word, conduit of the Holy Spirit and connector between people and God. An oracle of God and kingdom ambassador, she embraces the call to preach, teach, exhort, sing, prophesy unto repentance, restoration, and spiritual activation. This woman of God is a multipotentialite who boasts diverse gifts and talents which she uses to advance the Kingdom of God in various capacities as a Preacher, Worship Leader, Speaker, Author, Christian Coach and Entrepreneur. Shanique is also a competent emcee, copy writer, editor and voice over talent.