A new year brings fresh and frequently very difficult challenges. To prepare ourselves, Kit and I often remind ourselves of how God has carried us through previous situations. We once led a week-long leadership conference in Budapest, Hungary. It was so important that Kit made the comment afterwards, “This made our lives worthwhile.” But what we didn’t expect was for me to be sick at an inopportune moment. We eat very carefully when traveling. But sometimes when food is put before you, the choice is to eat it or offend somebody. In this case, a tuna fish sandwich gave me diarrhea.
The training had proceeded as planned. However, missionaries attending from twelve countries expressed skepticism over whether the new ministry skills we taught would work in Eastern European culture. Fortunately, we had planned a demonstration event to show the strategy working. The marriage seminar for 400 guests would prove or disprove our principles. Plus our ministry’s major donor had attended to see how we were investing his dollars. Everything was on the line.
The marriage seminar started well, and then without warning . . . pppft. I soiled my pants. There was no opportunity to change since we were the principle speakers. “Do I smell?” I quietly asked Kit.
She leaned over and whispered, “You’re okay. And it doesn’t show.” That’s real marital intimacy. By God’s grace, we completed the day without anyone knowing. Everybody attending loved the marriage seminar. The response proved the effectiveness of our methods to everyone.
Frequently, the best response in a crisis is to simply carry on. Especially when you are in a difficult situation in God’s service, you need to maintain composure. Often, we can see God do the greatest works when we are not our best. And scripture promises benefits to us.
“I can do all things in Him who gives me strength.” (Phillippians 4:13)
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;” (Romans 5:3-4)