It would not be an exaggeration to say that Neil and I are currently walking through a difficult time of discernment.
We have not lost our belief and complete faith in God, who He is, who Jesus is, and what that means for us.
We have not lost our dedication to serving God and serving people through the church.
We have not lost our sense of humor about ourselves. (Well. Most of the time this is true.)
We have rediscovered the importance of working through these kinds of things together, rather than the proverbial wringing-of-the-hands on our own.
I’m not sure I can adequately describe the layers of questions and prayers we’re talking about every day. But I can share with you some of the things that have hit me this week as I’ve worked through readings from this book.
Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
I don’t think I am hoping for anything. No…no… wait. I am. There are things–good things–I really hope to see happen. Do I have confidence that they will? Truly? So now I’m discovering something about this kind of specific ‘faith’…
Hebrews 11:13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. (this comes after a list of God’s servants in the Bible who were faithful)
Am I willing to live in full confidence that what I hope for will happen, knowing that I may not actually see it happen? Turns out I’m more results-oriented than I thought.
Psalm 92: 12-14 the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong …..
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
Have never thought about having been ‘transplanted’ to God’s own house… and that being the source of our growth and strength. Does this change how I think about things?
‘The ability to let go, to abandon oneself in faith and obedience, creates a heart that is docile and humble. Both notions are fairly foreign to our independent, stubborn, self-reliant spirits. Both virtues are fairly absent in our assertive, self-confident, self-indulgent circles. But uncovering their meaning and their message to us twentieth century Christians is crucial for a spirituality of our times.’ (from Every Bush is Burning by Joan Puls).
Benediction: Help me, my God, to manage the affairs to my life this day as though it were my last. Hold constantly before me the brevity of my fleeting days and the joy of hearing your “well done… enter in to the joy of your Lord.” I pray to be worthy of these words, today and always. Amen.