Monday, February 06, 2006
I am blessed. I only tell you that as a reminder to myself because I often forget how blessed I am. In my life and occupation I often, sometimes minute by minute wrestle with issues of faith and grace and blessing and assurance. I just decided that if I put those issues together I could conclude that because of my faith in God’s grace that I can experience the blessing of assurance. The older I get and the more I experience the more that I am blessed by assurance. I used to think that faith was enough for me. I thought that faith would carry me. This may not be very TC (theologically correct) and my Bible professors might cringe when I say this, but I think that life is too hard for the average faith to withstand. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly and in my gut believe that I have been saved by grace through faith, but the book of Hebrews talks about faith being defined in terms of hope. That’s where I’m weak. Hope for me is sometimes, how can I put this, too hopeful. Sometimes my hope is not strong enough to be defined as faith and my faith is not strong enough to be defined and hope. Someone somewhere is now going to try to get into my head or theologically dissect my shortcomings. Save your energy. It may not make sense to you, especially for someone like me to feel this way. However, it is what it is. If you know me personally, you know that I don’t have time to mask feelings and pursue other personas. Sometimes I just don’t get it and that’s as deep as it gets. I don’t need analysis and I don’t need therapy…OK maybe I do, but not for this issue. What I need is assurance. Assurance for me is based on past occurrence and or past history. I am assured of my wife’s unconditional love for me because of her ability in the past to forgive my many flaws. Some of them would be unforgivable in other relationships. I am assured of God’s provision because of His history of taking care of me through various otherwise illogical risks and through all phases of my life, single and married. When I read “Don’t worry about tomorrow” in Matthew, I usually don’t because He’s always been there before and He’s already there before I am. In the same way, I’m not assured of worldly concepts like evolution because I’ve never seen them at work. I don’t have the assurance that government will always or ever have my best interests in mind because I’ve not always seen it. But I do have assurance in my Father and His care. My life has gone through many stages and many changes and as I look back I realize that He’s always been there and I’m still here. The same One who created the snow covered mountains that I see this morning across the waters cares deeply for my opportunities to take in the view. That gives me the ability to wake up almost daily and ask OK, what’s up for today. It is usually not what I might have chosen the day to look like, but it’s always a day to experience nonetheless. It is what it is, but He’s who He is and for now I’m assured that this is enough. For that I’m blessed.