Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.
Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful
Hallelujah! I was really excited when I read today’s prompt, and I started to write this long dissertation about what I believe, based on the Apostle’s Creed, but it came out sounding so cold and… boring! And my faith is anything but cold and boring. So, I left the computer, took a shower, then sat down and fell asleep. (I’ve been sick since Christmas, on top of having chronic constant back pain, and the meds leave me feeling exhausted.) Anyway, those who have read and/or follow my blog, can immediately see that my faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is everything to me, and after trashing what I wrote earlier (I’m so thankful for the delete option computers have :D), I’m going to share from my heart, rather than my brain, the role my faith in Jesus Christ plays in my life.
Have you ever been in love? I mean really, totally head over heals in love with someone? Have you ever had a friend who is totally head over heals in love with someone? When someone is completely madly, passionately in love with someone, what does that person spend nearly every waking moment thinking about? The one they love, right? Not only do they spend every waking moment thinking about the one they love, they also talk incessantly about the one they love, whether someone wants to hear about it or not. 😀
That’s how I feel about Jesus. I love Him with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. I think about Him in the mornings when I wake up. I think about Him throughout the day, and my dreams are filled with Him. Almost always, whenever there is a prompt or challenge that I participate in, my thoughts turn immediately to my Lord and Savior, the Lover of my soul. You see, to put it simply, He has ravished my heart, and everything that I do, reflects that.
Now, some people might ask, “How can you love someone that you’ve never even seen? How do you even know He exists?” And you know what? I think those are fair questions. I’m not at all offended by people who raise those questions, because there was a time when I had questions too. To be perfectly honest with you, there are still things that I question, not because I doubt Him, but simply because I don’t understand. You see, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. As a matter of fact, as high as the heavens are from the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts.
So back to the questions… I know He exists just as I know the wind exists. Even though no one has ever seen the wind, we know it exists because we have felt it and seen its effects. I know Jesus Christ exists, because I have felt His presence, and I have seen the effect He has had in my life and in the lives of others. I’ve heard His voice as He speaks directly to my heart through Scripture, and I’ve also heard Him speak audibly to me. He has whispered words of love to me, when no one else cared, and He has quieted me with His love.
I love Him because He loved me first. I love Him because He has changed me. I’m not the same person I once was. He has delivered me from all fears. And let me tell you, I had many fears and phobias. He has taken my low self-esteem and replaced it with confidence in Him, and in myself. You see, I now know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
He has taken this woman, who spent so much of my life feeling anxious and worried to the point that my hands constantly shook, my heart raced, and I had trouble catching my breath… a woman who once spent twenty-one days on the psychiatric ward of a local hospital because I suffered panic attacks, a woman who constantly battled depression, and He gave me peace. He didn’t change my circumstances — He changed me. You see, even now, as I’m dealing with chronic back and leg pain, and am unable to work right now… even though I now have no income, and there seems to be no way that things will work out, He is with me, and He has given me peace.
I wanted so badly to get my seven grandchildren Christmas presents this year, but my income has ceased… I wanted to have my children and grandchildren come for Christmas dinner and Christmas cookies, but again, there was no money to provide for this… I went ahead and invited them to come anyway, by faith, trusting the Lord to provide, but I wasn’t sure there would be enough food on the table. Then I got a message on December 20, that I had one more check from work. Suddenly, I had $200, which enabled us to get each grandchild a gift, and put food on the table for Christmas. Do you wonder why I love Him?
Jesus loves me and takes care of all my needs. He was the One who told me to begin writing again, which is why I started this blog. He is the One who gives me life, and even though I’m in a lot of pain, I can still give Him glory, because even in the midst of the pain, He is with me, comforting me and encouraging me to press on.
It is my faith in Christ that gives me hope that I will one day be free from this chronic pain, whether here and now, or when I pass on. It is my faith in Christ that removes my fear of death, because if I’m alive in the flesh, I get to spend my life loving and being loved by Him. And if I die, I’ll finally get to look upon His glorious face, to behold Him in all of His glory, to caress His nail scarred hands and touch His brow that bore the pain of the crown of thorns.
I’ll get to finally gaze into the eyes that have gazed upon me and loved me, even when I was unlovable. I think that’s one of the things I love most about Jesus. He has loved me through good times and bad. He loved me when I didn’t love Him. He remained faithful to me, even though I was unfaithful to Him. He never gave up on me. When others looked at me and saw nothing worth loving, He looked beyond my sin, beyond my failure and He saw the woman that He created me to be.
And do you know what? He looks at you the same way. Each one of us was lovingly fashioned and knit together in our mother’s womb by His hands, and each one of us was created for a special purpose. Not one of us were accidents, though our parents and the rest of the world may have thought so. No, you see, He knew us before the foundations of the earth were laid, and He created each one of us to accomplish something. We were created for His glory. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
Isn’t it good to know that God Himself created each one of us, and no matter what we’ve been through, no matter what we’re going through now, and no matter what we will go through, He has a good plan for those who love Him, not for disaster, but to give us a future and a hope. Are you struggling? Are you hurting and in pain? Are you fearful of what may happen to you? You don’t have to be. You see, Christ gives hope to the hopeless. He gives peace and forgiveness. In fact, we are told to cast all of our cares on Him, because He cares for us.
Are you weary and heavily burdened? Jesus says, “Come, and I will give you rest.” Do you feel as though you’re all alone? Jesus promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I’ve shared with you the importance of my faith, but here’s the thing… Jesus loves you just as much as He loves me. He doesn’t promise that the road to Him will be easy, but He does promise to be with us and to strengthen us, and all He asks for in return is that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and forgive others as He has forgiven us.
Cheryl A. Showers