A Life on Faith Support

A Life on Faith Support

Dear Reader,

pexels-photo-695963.jpegIf you’ve been following, you’ll have read about my disastrous hernia repair this past November. Today, six months later, I think I’ve finally reached an understanding about why it’s been so life-threatening.

You see, since that incident, my Faith has been on Life Support.

It’s a combination of things that’s left me like this.

Obviously, there was the excruciating physical pain I experienced, and, now, fear of risking that agony again, even (and especially) by undergoing the elective, “normal life-restoring” kidney transplant.Image result for bible verses god's big picture

Then there’s the absolute irony of “sailing” – so to speak – through several serious surgeries (i.e. open heart, having part of my colon removed) – only to be sunk by a routine, out-patient operation.

small crossMostly, though, it’s been emotional and spiritual stuff.

I’ve had a lot of doubt and anger at God for letting it happen to me, for putting me through it. I’ve lost my trust in Him. Doesn’t He promise not to harm me?

And I’ve been fretting over our financial future. For the past four years, I’ve been on disability. I’ve done some part-time, sit-down rideshare driving, but, otherwise, I haven’t had to work, to labor.
That would change a year after successful transplant when benefits would end.

And what about His plans to prosper? Three years of blogging for a mere two hundred followers? That’s not the fruitful ministry I envisioned for Sharing God’s Story.

I think I’ve found the answer in that last sentence – and it’s something that’s tripped me up many times before.IMG_4207

My Life is supposed to be on Faith Support.

See the source image

Father God,
I’ve been crying out about where You went, where You’ve been. But I took myself off Faith Support.

I’ve wanted to know how You will work this for my good – what are Your plans to prosper and not to harm me? 

But that’s not how You work. My plans and Yours don’t always agree. Neither does Your timing. And which always ends up perfect?

I forgot the lessons You’ve brought me through these past ten years, and the absolute trust I had found at a few precious milestone moments along this crazy journey.

That is the kind of faith I need again: trust instead of fear, in spite of fear.

Help me to let go:

  • of fear,
  • of expectations on how You will work all things,
  • of my plans for how You should work things,
  • of life itself, (O yes, I do know how to do this)
  • of the need to be the one to plan it all out
    (that’s Your department)

Mine is to simply take one step – the next right step, by Your guidance – at a time.
Please shine Your light extra-brightly on what that is for today.
Like You always have.
Help me to see it, to be still, and to look and listen.

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“Cheap” Grace?

“Cheap” Grace?

small crossHave you ever heard the phrase “Cheap Grace?”

It’s meant to describe a sinner’s attitude toward God’s forgiveness when that sinner continues to sin – when that sinner chooses to continue to sin and knows he/she is doing so. Recently, I had a revelation about “cheap Grace.”

There’s no such thing.

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First, Grace is most definitely not and can never be cheap. This is simply because of the price Christ paid for it. He gave everything he had – and more – in order to give Grace to me.

Second, that price has already been paid. And this is the important thing – the revelation: nothing I ever do or don’t do can ever change that. Whether I know I’m sinning or not doesn’t matter. Grace remains paid for and given.

IMG_3346Third, perfection on my part is not possible, and won’t be until Jesus “returns or calls me home.” IOW, I’m going to fall again and again in this life, sooner or later. The important thing is whether or not I get back up and try again, knowing that He died for me and that I can stand in His strength.

Fourth, regarding trying again, I will never stop reaching out to grasp the hand being held out to me. I simply can’t. Another way to look at this is in the idea that I can never “unknow” Grace. It’s like seeing something. I can never unsee it.

pexels-photo-267559.jpegSure, I can doubt. My faith can waver. But there will always be that thread connecting me to Him. I won’t ever be free of it. (This is actually a comforting thought.)

Fifth, cheap Grace requires that I think something I do or don’t do effects my condition in God’s eyes. This is the same thing as saying that I can earn or deserve it.

I know I can never earn, will never deserve, nor ever afford Grace. It is a gift. It’s freely offered, no strings attached.

And it’s that knowledge that empowers me to keep working on changing my heart and my behaviors.IMG_3218