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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To RE-Believe…

To RE-Believe…

Friends,

night-television-tv-theme-machines.jpgWhile searching for something to watch on TV last night, I came across on Netflix “A. D. Kingdom and Empire,” which is the third part of the series which begins with “The Bible” and continues with “A.D. The Bible Continues.”

I’d seen only the first, which runs like a documentary with vignettes for some of the stories (so I was expecting the same sort of presentation.) But it is instead, one big episode, in this case starting at the trial of Christ. And it’s a season series instead of an n-day event.

Anyhow… Continue reading “To RE-Believe…”

Get Out This Bed of Doubt!

My Friends,
I have a confession to make: I’m having trouble in bed – that is, I prefer to be in it too often.

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If you have pets, perhaps you can relate – have you ever noticed how much our furry friends sleep throughout the day? We host four cats, a dog, and two guinea pigs, and I am home with them quite a lot. We allow them on our bed. (No, not the guinea pigs.) During much of 2014-2016 (the first half), I was physically recovering from surgeries and draining health issues, so I hope you’re not surprised that I, too, grew into the habit – the addiction? – of napping. (Yes, one of my aliases is The Furry King.)

On the positive side, it’s actually been a beneficial schedule. Probably because I do sleep so often during the day, I routinely wake up between 2-4 AM. This is my “quiet” time – or “work” time. I read Scripture, journal, pray, and blog on Sharing God’s Story in the beautiful, peaceful silence of early, early morning. I definitely would like to keep this productive aspect. Writing is, after all, my new career! (I hope you will agree that it is going well – at least considering the quantity of posts this past year.) (And this would be a good time, of course, to point out the “donate” button on this page. If you get anything out of my thoughts, please make a one-time gift!) (Please also feel free to share these posts with your followers and audience!)

However, double dipping on dozing does have a symbolism – or perhaps a stigmatism to it, and it certainly nags at me, knowing, as I do, some key Bible verses. For example:

Proverbs 6:6 ERV
You lazy people, you should watch what the ants do and learn from them.

Ephesians 5:14 NIV
This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Romans 13:11 ESV
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

(and many more)

542So, that I myself am conflicted about over-resting as either a bad habit I should now work on changing or a completely understandable extension of two years marked with long hospital stays which has evolved into an “alternative” workstyle, the perfect metaphor is “A Bed of Doubt”. And doubt, itself, being a much larger faith challenge, only deepens the comparison (like a king-size, pillow-top, super-comfy mattress), and it fails to give any relief from the urgent need I feel to “Get Out This Bed of Doubt”.

I refer to one of the first verses I met in my journey of following Christ, Psalm 30:5

…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

I’ve had many occasions for crying (and hiding in bed) these past eight years:
– each of my parent’s (and others of their generation) passing,
– the rock-bottom moments in my recovery from multiple addictions/bad behaviors,
– the career miracles my recovery had me pridefully expecting (which didn’t happen),
– all
 of my health incidents of the past two years,
– and even the vitriol of this past US election and the fear we all must have about the change that it is bringing (yes, even for those who voted for the winner).

morningBut the “morning” for each of these issues has dawned with a growing sense of trust, faith, serenity, acceptance, courage, wisdom, and joy in The Lord and His ultimately Good Purpose for me, for every one of us – at least on His part, and for the eventual reparation of creation. I want to get up and get busy – but let go and let God at the same time!

There is another factor increasing the stress I am experiencing over my doubt. I “believe in believing” in the Creator God of the Bible, His Savior Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. This is the key to Christianity. Fallen by choice, humanity must be made right with its Creator and still have His Supreme Judgement fulfilled. There is only one path to this: Christ.

But, whether the Old Testament is literal truth or analogy for God’s capabilities and character, I don’t know – yet. I’m not sure it’s important to have the answer to that question. Regardless, that which is to come – Revelation – is sure. It is prophesied, and is coming true before eye that see. And my studies are not proving – beyond a doubt – anything except this: I desperately need to keep asking myself, “Am I on the right road; the narrow or the wide?”

Revelation 17:17 ERV
For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.

Doubt plays a necessary part. Doubt is vital. Doubt, so to speak, keeps me “on my toes”, at least as far as my spiritual well-being is concerned. Doubt motivates me to stay in the Word, testing everything I hear, no matter where I hear it.

563And this just further enforces what I believe to be the aim of the Great Commission: to demonstrate to anyone/everyone in our sphere of influence the unbelievable importance of an ongoing, consistent, one-to-one relationship with The Higher Power, The Creator, The God of the Universe. It is in deciding for ourselves what we believe, and double-checking ourselves – which can be done only with proper study of relevant things – that we can understand our individual salvation (and our need for it). With this understanding, we can then daily follow Christ for the right reason.

The means do not justify the end. The “why” and “how” we do something, is of equal – perhaps greater – importance than the “what” we do. Ultimately, in other words – and this is the fulcrum of good and evil in everything – there is no good without God as the source of moral Truth, with the two Great Commandments at the center:

Luke 10:27 NIV
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”