Here's the truth of the matter: our life with God is simple. Simplicity, as defined by Richard Foster, is a “single hearted focus on God and God’s kingdom.” What this means is that we reach out to Jesus as the very basis of our lives. This is where we start. Yes, external frameworks can help us, yet they must be secondary to our primary task of simply reaching out to Jesus.
Do you find that fear limits you from stepping boldly into the new life that Jesus calls you into? When we focus too much on that fear, or the lies it tries to tell us, we can easily get stuck in our faith. We may look at opportunities before us and believe that we are not ready or able to do what God asks. The truth is God’s grace often shines most brightly through the imperfect cracks of our lives.
Faith isn’t lived from the miraculous to the miraculous. Sure, Moses’ had an experience of the Burning Bush, but his faith in God only grew in the 40-year slog of an everyday journey. More often than not, our faith is couched in the ordinary. Our faith grows amid a life where nothing miraculous seemingly take place. Why, then, do we make such miraculous experiences the definitive mark of faith?
As a priest, I have witnessed myriads of strangers randomly stop by and ask to sit in the church. It happens more than one would think. They sit in silence, and leave in silence, often with some tears in their eyes. And because I give them space, never hovering over them or forcing a conversation, I have always wondered about their story. What drove them to sanctuary? I now have a better understanding. I get it. Like a child who desperately needs the presence of a parent, sometimes we just need to sit in God’s house.
I hate packing. I mean, I utterly loath it. I find no delight in putting all my possessions in a series of boxes only to move them to a new location and then take them out again. The whole process is daunting and exhausting. This is what I have been living with for the past … Continue reading Home Assurance
God’s promises are spoken precisely for those moments when we need them. They hold us up when our faith feels shaky and unsupported. They provide strength and hope for our Christian walk. The times of discouragement, therefore, are not a denial of our faith; they are but the moments wherein we learn the strength of God’s eternal word, and the constancy of God’s presence.
The question that often plagues us is, how can we know that we are never forgotten? How can we know beyond a doubt that God’s gaze is continually directed towards us? Happily, God answer this dilemma.
God used the roundabouts, the twists and the turns, as avenues for growth. It was in their perceived lostness that Israel experienced the blessings of God in profound ways. And, in each step of way God proved faithful. Eventually, Israel got to where they were going; as did we.
It would be years before I came across that reading again and the reminder of a prayer I lost the hope to pray. A prayer that God answered in a way I could never have imagined. My dear ones had not only made peace, but now laughed together and cared for one another.
If you are like me, the mere suggestion that we might say no to a request, particularly in the church, raises all sorts of objections. “I can’t do that – people are counting on me”, we might say. Yet what if this is but a mask? What if our refusal to say no is keeping us from going deeper in our relationship with the Lord? Like Mary sitting at the Lord’s feet, what if Jesus wants us to say no to other demands? What if Jesus is calling people to count on him and not on us?