My wife and I Served in the ministry and truly believed we had a deep faith in God. Now that we are amid a crisis without knowledge of the outcome I realize; our faith was only making ripples in the water. We never stopped to complete an evaluation or take an inventory while we helped others, prayed, and or studied. Maybe we never realized there was a next level.
Based on Jenna’s reaction to her diagnosis versus how we reacted it was clear the anchor had never been let down, not even a ripple in the water. The storm hit like a thief in the night. While our ship didn’t drift out to sea it wasn’t as stable as Jenna’s. Little did we know God had ordained someone to lead us into this deeper faith. Leading by example and giving us comfort amid so much pain; our 14-year-old daughter Jenna.
Spiritually Baring All
As I write this contemplating opening our private battles to the public leaving us totally vulnerable, satan without fail tells me, this will be embarrassing, people will know how weak a Christian you are, etc.. The father of lies never rest and his desire is for us to be fearful of what man may say but God did not put the spirit of fear in us. When the truth is, out loud, people get help and God gets the glory. Even knowing this truth transparency isn’t easy for the flesh.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, ..…When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
When was the last time we paused long enough to evaluate what deeper faith in God looks or feels like? Unless there is a trial in front of us? Is it possible Christians wake up in the morning, thank God for the sunrise, and consider this to be a walk of faith. Or have we somehow let what once was a personal walk with Christ, producing fruit in our everyday lives, unknowingly change into religion? These questions and answers are guaranteed to be rewarding but should be challenging as well.
I have never taken the time to evaluate how and when I have responded to God. There is no doubt I have responded in search of the deeper things of Christ, yet have I truly looked at my responses in life’s daily walk? Probably not. Not sure I believe many people take the time or seek the deeper things of God daily or maybe this is only for my family. Either way it will help me, to write it down, and share.
Caring Through Sharing
Christians! Being open and vulnerable to how God is growing us, is the best opportunity to help others grow and experience God more deeply which strengthens the body. As we strengthen the body of Christ each of us gets to live more abundantly and peaceful through all of life’s circumstances. What would keep us from being humble enough to expose ourselves thereby letting everyone have this peace?
Personal example that up until now I didn’t realize could possibly help someone. Why would I not have said this out loud before I am not sure. Many times I have been in hospital intensive care units visiting to pray over the years. Only to walk out of those same rooms afterward and tell myself “they won’t make it”. Yet each time God showed up in a way that only He can and blessed each person with life. God honored my prayer because it was from a pure heart and He looks on the intent of the heart even while He is growing us deeper. Our shallow faith didn’t hinder Gods work but may have cost us some comfort and peace God had designed.
It isn’t Gods desire that we go through life struggling to find comfort and peace. But that we learn to lean on His compassion, comfort, and grace and let Him provide for us, His children.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two–edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Our Christian walk had to be evaluated as Jenna’s tragedy struck. Together our family and God started this refining journey. Life experience and the bible tell us this is not an uncommon path for Christians. But why can’t we supplement this method of moving ahead in growth by honestly sharing with one another. Christian’s honestly sharing their struggles will prepare each of us for the issues that arise in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I have failed in my faith, or that God didn’t hear me or love me. Nor most likely have you failed, but we must evaluate and seek that next level. This will help us to realize it is how we respond that dictates how we arrive at the other side of each valley.
As God does His part carrying us through what seems to be a bottomless valley we start to realize how shallow faith hinders the comfort we know God promises to provide. This is what prompted us to seek God’s face and adjust what we were doing by seeking a closer daily walk.