Never Waste a Good Crisis



"Never waste a good crisis." I heard those words this week spoken by Rahm Emmanuel in relation to the AIG crisis. Then Hillary Clinton repeated the phrase.
The idea behind the statement was if you’re going to have a crisis anyway, don’t let it go to waste. None of us desire to be in a state of crisis, but I suppose that most of us find ourselves there anyway from time to time. How can we “not waste” the crisis?
I look up the definition of the word crisis and here is what I found:
Crisis –  1: a: the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever b: a paroxysmal attack of pain, distress, or disordered function c: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life <a midlife crisis>2: the decisive moment (as in a literary plot)3 a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending ; especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome<a financial crisis> b: a situation that has reached a critical phase <the environmental crisis
One of the problems with being in a crisis is that sometimes the crisis itself interferes with our ability to think and by the very definition of the word, things can become better or they can become worse. So we need to be able to gain direction on how to make it through the crisis.
What can we do in times of crisis to enable things to become stable, to turn for the better, to become less painful, distressful and more ordered?
What did Jesus do?  Well, if we look at Gethsemane as a crisis –by definition, a critical phase – we can gain some insights.
1. We can make withdrawals from the deposits we have previously made.   Jesus went to the Mount of Olives – just as he usually did. He was able, during crisis, to draw on the disciplines of his life with God.
Luke 22:39  “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives …”
2. We can surround ourselves with friends we love. 
 Matt. 26:38 “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane ”
3. We can experience a deeper level of friendship with our inner circle of friends than we do with our larger circle of acquaintances. 
Jesus had close friends whom he wanted to be near, even though he knew they’d fail him at first. He told the disciples to sit, but he invited Peter, James, and John into a more intimate place to keep watch and pray. He wanted them near during this dark night of his soul. He said to the larger group of disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." But then he took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (James and John) further along with him. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
4. There are some parts of the crisis where it is only God and us.  There are some depths that only God understands.
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground (alone)” 
5.  We can pray.  “…and prayed”
6. We continue to lead others and teach others even though our soul is heavy.
Jesus was within their sight.  We don’t get to unenlist from Leadership Gifts 101 when we are in crisis.  Others will watch – good or bad, whether or not we are responding correctly to the crisis; we can lead them in the ongoing direction of godliness even if we are going through a valley.  I love to think of that, the ongoing direction of godliness, as a graph that goes up and down, peaks and climbs, but ultimately goes upward.  (Though a righteous person falls seven times, they will rise again. Proverbs)  If you follow me long enough, I will rise again no matter what the valley or crisis because the spirit of Christ dwells inside me.
7. We should seek God’s will in the crisis.
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
8. We can remember to care about others even though our world is in personal crisis.
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” We often think about Jesus rebuking his friends in this scene, but what was at the heart of his words? That his friends not fall.
9.      We can gain strength from heaven. 
“An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him”. But that was just for Jesus, right?   Aren’t they his ministering spirits sent to minister to those who believe?  So whether an angel or some other ministry from heaven, God will strengthen us.
10. We can keep praying.  
  "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Often it is easy to quit praying during crisis.  And on the other side of that equation, not only is it easy to quit, it is equally difficult pray at all.
11. We can keep praying! 
“When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.”
12. We can walk into the crisis and through the crisis knowing that God never wastes a good crisis.  
“Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go!”
13. Know that Satan also will not waste a good crisis.
“Here comes my betrayer.” There will be people who knowingly or at times, unwittingly, exploit you during crisis.  Scripture tells us that we are not above our Master though sometimes we feel we should be exempt from crisis.  We are also told that Satan, like a roaring lion, roams back and forth looking for those whom he can devour.  Lions attack weak prey and separate them from the herd. So go back to number 1.  “Do not pass Go” so to speak.  Remember the principles of Crisis Management and don’t waste a good crisis knowing that the One who began  a good work in us will finish that work. 

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Categories : Crisis


  1. Song Lee says:

    Love this blog. About #8… I will never forget your actions last year. In the midst of probably one of the worst crises of your life, you were concerned about me and how I felt. It was an amazing testimony to who you are! I love you so much and YOU ARE MY HERO!

  2. Dereise says:

    Yes Mikki, God comes through in our crisis. I’ve learned so much about how He works with stuff in our lives He saw before we were ever born He could use. We will never know how many souls we will take with us just from them seeing how we handled a crisis. Now we may not have handled it well for several months but the outcome will be for His Glory if we decided that His Ways are greater ways. Love you sister, Dereise….

  3. Susi says:

    When thick black clouds form around us, that is God’s cue. When we stop fixing, doing, managing, and just sit with Jesus and trust Him, He gives us what we need to trust another day. One day at a time, one mess at a time, one crushed spirit at a time. In our weakness, God can turn us from crisis to His purpose–walking with HIM in the garden in the cool of the evening, enveloped by beauty and swept away in love. We can always go there. It is the genesis of our pouring out, that precious time with Him. The more stifling our crisis, the sweeter is His refuge. Nothing kingdom worthy comes out of us without His fruitful imprint on our souls. There is no fast fruit. Love you, Mikki! Susi

  4. conley bush says:

    mikki, wow this article was great, this really minstered to me alot, what a prime ezample jesus left for us, i will never see this story another way, i had no idea what he really went through in the garden, i read the story before but, the way you broke it down made me see wow this is how jesus handled crisis, God got him through it, wow! mikki, thanks for hearing from God on this, i bless you and love you sister.

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