This post is written by Trishia Crabtree and shared with her permission.
I have never done this before in my life or have been so transparent, but here goes…Please wait until you have time to sit down to concentrate on this with a cup of coffee (or a Mt. Dew! 🙂
There have been several things that God has been dealing in my heart about recently. My husband and daughter, Scott and Brooklynn, contracted Covid when they were in South Africa.
When Scott eventually came home after 36 days and one week of ICU, I noticed that something was different—he was a changed man. Not that he was bad before, but something was different. He would often have tears fill his eyes regarding what God had done for him while he was sick. I get it—near-death experience—blah blah, or so I thought.
Several weeks later I contracted covid for 2 weeks. It was the sickest I have ever been in my whole life—even my sense of humor couldn’t keep me going. I was crying out to God in ways I never had before—I moaned all night in pain and couldn’t get out of bed and my whole body just felt like I was hit by a Mack truck. (Sorry, Mack—you’re the only truck company I know!)
The verse Romans 8:26 came to mind—“Likewise (in the same way) the Spirit also helpeth (helps) our infirmities (feeble mind/frailty/weakness): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought (should): but the Spirit itself maketh intercession (He is our go between to God) for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The Holy Spirit speaks for us when we are hurting or cannot find the words.
After 3 urgent care visits and 3 ER visits, I was finally admitted into the hospital for one week to deal with my oxygen level. God miraculously spared me and I was able to go home without home oxygen (although I probably should have). Still dealing with cough and breathing issues, but am so much better!
God did something to me personally—He used this time for me to look into my soul—and I didn’t like what I saw. Talk about a humiliating experience.
I have always been a people person—I get it from my parents and from being a PK (preacher’s kid). God has given me a certain amount of talents and gifts that I have either squandered or used to my own benefit. It’s not that I intended to, it’s just that we all deal with our own arrogance in different ways.
I have NOT mastered the art of cooking, but Paula Deen is going to help me with that, y’all! About 6 years ago, I had a devastating experience in which God was trying to teach me these things, but I didn’t listen. (I’m also stubborn, too—just ask my husband!)
Something is different in me now—the tears flow that have been sitting in a box for many years. My compassion and mercy box for people has broken wide open. I would never openly judge people, but I certainly did privately.
It has been a while since I felt an actual burden to give a tract about Jesus to another person—although I did it out of Christian duty. Walk the walk and talk the talk—but only on the outside—although I would have a few good inside things in my spirit occasionally. I’m not a total heathen!
When Covid started in the world, I started to become angry and afraid. What in the world is going on? Then all the debates with the masks, vaccines, deaths, opinions, politics, anger, BLM, racism, families divided just because of who they voted or didn’t vote for—I was petrified in my soul (although I didn’t show it). I saw good people and friendships torn apart because of the division. I would just keep my mouth shut and lay low.
We all have seen people slowly drift away from God in their living rooms and never returning to our churches. In my whole life, I heard about Jesus coming back, but during the beginning of Covid-19, it became real to me. Things are happening in America and the world that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.
I accepted Christ as my personal Savior (was born again) at the age of 14, even though I grew up in church. Christ became real to me at that time, but I have never truly understood the filling of the Holy Spirit until now.
This is the closest I have ever been to God since I trusted in Him as a teenager—it is like my blinders have been taken off. I was always hesitant to see things through the eyes of Christ because I didn’t want that daily burden.
It’s not a burden now—it’s an opportunity! Instead of saying, “I can’t wait until Jesus comes back to get revenge on all this wickedness and evil going on!” I now say, “Jesus—can you wait? We need more time. Our people today are hurting.
Our young men are growing up without fathers—no wonder there is so much chaos. Our young people are growing up not knowing their own identity which will cause even more cultural chaos and devastation in the future. The tornadoes in the South and Midwest causing people to lose everything or almost everything in 30 seconds—seeing people say they never prayed in their whole life until then.
I say all this to say…people can tell you until they are blue in the face about your health, about your life, about your decisions, and you won’t budge. Until God comes down and meets you personally—nothing will change.
As I sit here, I am thinking of serious conversations to have with my 3 children—I am so proud of decisions they have made in their lives—I just want God to be REAL to them. As I sit here, I have a list of people I need to talk to—to apologize to—to share the Gospel with. I want them to see my burden for them instead of beating around the bush. I am more open about the Gospel—without being mean—I want compassion (which is not my natural tendency).
Many of our Baptist brethren get a little nervous talking about the Holy Spirit. I get that. I can already see some of the eye-rolling with some folks thinking, “Yeah…you just wait—she is going to change and turn into a (fill in the blank).” Nope—still an independent Baptist—not planning on changing that. Still have beliefs, standards, and convictions that I have no intention of changing.
Maybe we would have more people listen to us if we stopped being such Pharisees with dead and judgmental bones on the inside. Maybe people wouldn’t have given up on their beliefs if we had more people with the right heart who believed that BOTH the outside AND the inside matter. Maybe they would have continued in the way if we hadn’t been so critical while thumbing our nose at those who didn’t just accept blind obedience without conviction.
I have never been one to argue on Facebook—many times it is just arrogant people trying to get their point across or just conversing with people who are in their same bubble. I don’t share things I can’t verify. I don’t brag about how many times Facebook tries to throw me in Facebook jail. It’s never happened, but to some people, it is like a notch in their belt!
Get out of your computer and lead someone to Jesus! Stop being angry about Covid and the “rules” and see the possibilities of revival through this. Stop trying to convince people who can’t or won’t be convinced—it’s a waste of God’s time and ours. I apologize for the length—these were things I needed to say.
I sense a revival in my own heart. I sense a revival in LifeSigns Deaf Baptist Church here in New Albany, Ohio. God is moving and I want to be right there in the U-Haul truck with Him.
By Tricia Crabtree, December 16, 2021