06 April 2010

Praise even in the quiet times

I have been a Christian for a long time. I would consider a time 11 years ago to be a turning point in my walk with God. It was really a time that I began to desire more than just a Sunday School relationship with Him. Meaning, it meant more than just going to church every Sunday and attending class.
Looking back into my youth, I have always read my bible.  After my cousin suddenly passed away in 1995 on Valentine’s Day at the age of 18, I began highlighting verses that I enjoyed. I think this was because Susan’s bible had many verses highlighted in it and I decided that if I were to die suddenly, then I would want everyone to see how much I loved the Bible too. I was only 14, and looking back, I’m not sure the motivation, but nonetheless, her death brought up many questions and led me to seeking Gods Word for answers, or at least comfort. So maybe that is the time when I also decided to seek after God a little more fervently, but I was in high school, and anyone that knew me in high school will tell you, I went through a lot of phases.  Death has quite an impact on a young person. I really didn’t know how to handle it so I just wrote a lot and decided to do whatever I could get away with. I lost a lot of friends in high school to death. It was definitely more than any teenager should have to. But that's just how it went.

I have a habit of being inconsistent when it comes to my faith. Not that I forget what I believe. I never forget that. But I forget how to follow.  I forget when to follow. And I forget why I follow. Lets break this down.
How to follow: Wholeheartedly. Without doubt, fear or worry.
When to follow: All the time. Any time. Every time.
Why to follow: Because when I make decisions on my own merit, logic, and reasoning, they are not always the best decisions and lead to a lot of heartache, whereas if I am trusting God with my choices and seeking his direction, I don’t end up in dark and desolate places, unless of course, that is where He wants me to go in order to teach me.

Of course, in practice, these are all great things. Following God is the ultimate goal of anyone claiming to be a Christian, or “Christ – like”. 

It is very easy to remember to follow Christ when you are in a bad place in your life. It is hard to have joy in these times, when we are in a bad place, we tend to say, oh crap God, I really need help here. We suddenly give God the shout-out that He has wanted all the time and God may or may not bail us out. Usually it is not without a grand lesson and a lot of suffering. I know there are so many people out there bargain with God in times of turmoil. If only you can get me out of this God, I promise I’ll (fill in the blank here).  How many of us uphold our end of the bargain? How many of us remember to seek God when things are going great? 

When things are going well, it’s hard to remember that God is responsible for that too. Its hard to trust God to make the decisions for us. When things are going great, we sort of put God in the back seat. God, thanks for the lift, i'll take it from here. And we try to do things our way. Sometimes we live Godly lives, but sometimes we get a little cocky and starting making decisions that are self serving. We lose sight of the reason for everything good in our lives, and start to believe that we ourselves caused our good fortune, so we deserve to do as we please. And that is exactly where I am, sort of. My life is going extremely well, aside from being apart from Rick, but that has been our decision – to marry knowing the distance. I have an extremely wonderful and secure job, and I have been promoted this month which comes with a decent raise. It would be so easy for me to take this prosperity and begin trying to control my own life. Thanks God, i'll take it from here, but I have been very blessed, and I deserve none of it. None of us deserve anything less than death. We don't.  But as long as we remember the source of our blessings, and do not forget that just as easily as God gives, so can he take, He might just continue to pour out his blessings upon us. Technically, it is all His anyways, and all he asks of me is for a small portion in return. But will I give it all away in order to be with Rick day in and day out? If that is what God requires, then yes, that is exactly what I will do. I guess in due time we shall see if that is in fact what God requires. But as I have learned, I must store up my treasure in heaven. I can serve only one God.  As far as I know, money has yet to buy anyone eternal life.

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