Thursday, February 17, 2011

By Faith Not By Sight by Carolyn

Sometimes when God asks us to step out of the boat, or into a boat we hesitate to get in, we are reluctant to go. Sometimes, we have no choice for God has presented us with circumstances from which there is no escape. Has this happened to you? I remember one of the evidences of my new found faith in God was agreeing to perform Bible stories with my boon companion, Judy, before many church audiences. I had never done such a thing before and I was scared to death I would forget my lines, trip and fall, get a coughing fit, or otherwise flub the event and make a huge spectacle out of myself! Before each performance I prayed mightily in anticipation. After each performance I prayed mightily in gratitude!

There are a myriad of circumstances we all face that are hard to face. Life is like that, but they can be vehicles that drive us to our knees and bring us into the very presence of God. Because we belong to Him, and if we know His promises, we can depend on Him to be with us in the deepest, darkest pit. And sometimes when we're down there with Him, He shows us unexpected, unanticipated treasures in the darkest places. This may take time, but if we allow worry to diminish His authority then worry enslaves us and causes us to lie in a lifeless condition not reflecting God's goodness and the power of His word. Our testimony, our witness can be such a huge light for others, especially "not yet" believers who are watching us cope with trials.

Since I became a volunteer for hospice and a volunteer at a nursing home I've faced rejection. My very first patient asked me to leave her room and not come back. That was hard to take. I thought I was a failure, but God wouldn't let me use that as an excuse for not returning. Back I went. That was five years ago and the blessings I've found hidden in the hearts of so many people nearing the end of their lives have been too numerous to count.

Still, a couple of weeks ago, I was dismissed again by another patient. He is a hospice patient and I introduced myself to him. After only about five minutes, he kindly told to please go away and not darken his doorway anymore. I was sad. But at the prompting of the Spirit, a week later, I went back again. This time we discovered a treasure. We have the same Father! We are brother and sister in the faith and our joy in finding this out opened a floodgate of grace for us both! We have had very different lives; he is black and I am white and our lives' stories are vastly different, but our joy in the Lord binds us together inextricably. We are family and I look forward to many more delightful conversations with him about his life and his faith, and our Father.

These little lessons prepare us for the big ones. Funny. Sometimes Jesus commands us to get in the boat as He did with His disciples in Matthew 14:22. And sometimes He commands us to get out of the boat as He did with Peter in Matthew 14:29, but in BOTH cases, He's right there with us in the boat, or on the water!

1 comment:

  1. There is another fruit of the spirit that comes to mind as I read your blog entry - patience and perseverance. Jesus himself provides the model that is spoken about in Hebrews 12: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us." That is what you are doing!