Faith is seeing victory when it looks like you’re losing.” – Unknown
First let me say if you know me and I know you, I can almost guarantee that you will probably think I am referring to you in some points of this post. And you are right, I probably am, but not in a malicious way, so be proud that I think of you enough to share something meaningful and worthy of my blog at this moment in time. I believe stories are meant to be shared, but what good are they if no one has the opportunity to learn from them? So let’s continue to learn together.
Every Sunday many of us sit in the pews with whom we call our church family. We rub elbows with people we are familiar with, mostly feel safe with and connect with on some spiritual level. We listen to inspiring psalms and messages week after week to build our faith and hopefully impact how we effect our world.
So my question today is how are you changing your world? How is your faith impacting the ones that don’t know what you profess or believe? Would they know by you how you treat them, what you stand for or how you perform your tasks at work? I often wonder about the Christian community that stands strong on Sundays, but are missing in action on the other days of the week.
Not physically missing, but rarely seen when life turns upside down for them. How does the Christian speak life into a divorced couple when they themselves have suffered the same circumstances? Many would say they are disqualified, but quite honestly they make for the best candidate. The piece that is usually missing from this story is the ability for that person (the Christian) to become brutally honest with their real life circumstances.
We often have a habit of only sharing the good parts of our story. Rarely do we want to reveal the dark parts, or the ugliness we displayed that may represent as not so nice people, thoughtful or as kind-hearted as we once proclaimed.
Life has a way of changing everything. It still remains the best teacher in my humble opinion. Nothing has impacted me more than the way my life has transpired, despite how I thought it would. The lessons were always challenging, unanticipated and filled with gut-wrenching truths that were undeniable and raw.
So in the midst of these moments is where our proclaimed faith has the best opportunity to shine through and speak truth to power, however sadly it is also the moment when the average Christian will whimper and profess a convenient scripture that removes him/her from taking full responsibility for his/her actions. Why do we do that?
The faith we proclaim and hold on to is like the bond of our word. It is all that we have, especially in moments of despair, doubt and unplanned circumstances. People in your sphere of influence are watching to see how you respond, react and communicate (with action, not words) with truth.
So many times I thought in times past that displays of perfection and my attempt to seemingly do the right thing meant more than the simple truth of my imperfections or poor decision making. People witnessing my failure was not the end-all, but in many cases the beginning of what was to be a life changing conversation and illustration of tremendous grace and lambent beauty. A beauty that I alone could not curate or perfect.
God is not waiting for you and I to be perfect, just honest with who we are and where we are. The other pieces that become relevant to the story will come from grace and mercy, not our hard work, brilliant minds or radiant charm. God alone is enough. We just need to learn to trust that as we sit in the pews week after week with those whom we proclaim to love as our spiritual family, that our lives are truly in the hands of God, despite how it looks in the present the moment.