No Crisis of Faith
I would give anything to have had a job/career/work that I was sincerely passionate about early in my life to fill my days. By passionate I mean something that would give me every opportunity to glorify God through service to other people. Because of that I am not defined by the work that I have done through the years. From a very young age, deep within I have longed to understand God and his presence in my life. I have longed to share that presence with others. I tried many things and spent a lot of money in education and studies. I placed my heart and trust in the people around me, all of which amounted to more struggle than I could have ever imagined when I first started this journey. Although I started a blog ministry of meditation and reflection in 2011, only recently (the end of 2013) have I made the decision to let go of this “work” I’d been seeking and just focus on the relationship that I have always had with the Spirit that God placed in my heart as a child. Since I am not currently working, financially I struggle but I’m not homeless and I eat everyday. How much worse would I be if I did not have the Spirit of God within me?
That Spirit is the one hope that I hold to as I begin to start a new ministry, because aside from my immediate family I have nothing else. Though there are times when I question and challenge that Spirit, I am grateful for the consciousness, knowing and trusting that God has not forgotten my journey in which he has salted my life and he will continue to lead me to the place he has already prepared. I won’t always know what the next step or move will be but I will thank God every day for the salt. As for crisis of faith, when things went from bad to worse, perhaps I should have had one sometime ago, but as a child I was told that I could always talk to God and I believed it. To this day my own personal communication with God wouldn’t allow that crisis to happen. So for as long as that salt is adding flavor to my life I will taste and see that God is good and I am not defined by my work (physical) but by my relationship (spiritual) with God first and foremost. I will remember that the gift of the Spirit is the first gift given to God’s people. It is this spiritual relationship that I have finally learned needs to lead the way in this journey.
For your arrows have already pierced me, and your hand presses hard upon me. Psalm 38:2 Particularly, in transgressions, we open our mouths and become our own worst critic. We wonder how we could have done something so foolish, selfish, and mean. We belabor the act for days and try to justify our actions knowing full well there is no justification. We despise the fact that even if for a brief moment, we became something that in the past we judged we now stand in judgment. We project that everyone now looks upon us with disdain. We pull our selves back and everyone including God seems so far away. Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. Don’t listen to the haters among us or the ones in our own mind, those who mock or scorn, who themselves are just as guilty for we all stand in judgment. Our first step is to open our mouths to confess, knowing that God will hear the sorrow that is true repentance and forgive us. We must open our mouths only to praise and bless God who continually shows us grace and mercy and accept His forgiveness and continue to follow the path you know to be right.
...tell me both the dream and its interpretation… Daniel 2:1-16 King Nebuchadnezzar made a request, which at first glance seems unreasonable. But the dream troubled him so much he needed to be certain that the “wise men” he called upon would not maneuver the truth concerning the meaning of the dream. Dreams can be very abstract. Life experiences can be as abstract as our dreams and we don’t always understand how they may or may not be manifested in our lives. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t trust his “wise men.” Daniel was wise enough to trust God because only a living and active God could have known that dream. Through Christ our relationship with God is also living and active. Through our faith in Christ, what seems abstract will be revealed and made complete for us as well.
…I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word… your word is truth. John 17:12-19
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1-17 As we near the end of the Lenten season, hopefully whatever we’ve focused our attentions away from in order to draw closer to God, we are better able to experience God’s plan and provisions for living. We begin to realize that what we perceive as dependence on God is more like natural instinct towards his presence within us. To define our relationship as dependence causes us to look for blame either within ourselves or someone else when things don’t work out the way we believe they should. The reality is that something is always being worked out. We are not the only ones to whom God is in relationship. While our decisions play some part in what does and does not happen, instinctively we praise, instinctively we repent, instinctively we reconcile ourselves and instinctively we know that God is working it out not just for us but through us as well.
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him…” John 9:1-17
Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:16-21
‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ (Mark 1:29-45). A man with leprosy approaches Jesus who then stretches out his hand to touch him saying; “I do choose.” Leprosy is a disease that causes skin sores, nerve damage, and muscle weakness that gets worse over time. Since there was no cure in biblical times, there weren’t too many things that could be worse than being struck with leprosy. Today we have various remedies and effective antibiotics to heal the physical ills the body often endures. Yet I believe Jesus’ desire to heal the man with leprosy has little to do with the body but is more about his desire to change the man’s way of thinking concerning who he believes Jesus to be. So too today, Jesus’ grace and mercy desires to meet with our faith even in in the most difficult times because while the body is a temporary gift, in the end it is the gift of the spirit which endures that is raised up with Christ.
All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses,… But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive…and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus… Ephesians 2:1-10