Through these days, I have moved closer and closer to God, knowing without question that He was the one guiding our path. Our minister said the other day that he had never counseled with a child Griff's age who had as good an understanding of faith and trust as Griff has. I'm quite sure that's in part because God gave me such a smooth pathway to faith and trust myself. Those are not concepts I have trouble accepting...instead, I find them comforting and encouraging (though I will quickly admit that I have challenges in other areas of my spiritual walk).
I came across a story yesterday about a man we know very casually. He was referring to a particular time of stress in his life, and he told about how that period of time and the people involved in it have led him to become an agnostic, quite possibly an aetheist.
I admit that I don't understand that. My faith in God has been built up by this situation, and my complete belief that He has good in store for me - for all of us! - is part of what keeps me moving through this. If there is any good in my reactions or responses, if there is any kindness in me toward others involved in this, if there is any positive example given through me, it is only because I believe in God's faithfulness without reserve.
My trust in other Christians, however, has suffered immeasurably. The innocence I carried with me - for much longer than one would expect - regarding Christians exists no more. I know now from very real experience that, even as Christians, we are all still fallen human beings who need God's grace and leadership in our lives each and every moment of every day. We struggle against the fleshly things that call to us... power, prestige, vanity, and so many others ... and while some win those struggles (by leaning into God's protective frame), others do not.
And those that succumb to the calls of man rather than to the calls of Christ give Christians a bad name, I think. I've learned that it takes time to know one another as Christians, just as I believe it takes time to know new friends. As such, it takes time to discern those Christians who are really walking with God as opposed to those who are merely giving the outward impression of taking that journey.
Despite the toll this time is taking on me physically and emotionally, I am thankful for this struggle we are living through because I know that God is showing me much in these days. I'm learning that I need to know for myself what God's Word says & what I believe about it. I'm learning that I cannot assume people will do the right thing simply because they are Christians or because it is the right thing. I am learning that committed Christian friends are priceless.
I'm learning... and that is a gift that I believe God is giving me in this time.
Great post Chel... I always enjoy reading your blog. I am happy that you are learning because when you learn, that means you are growing. I fear the day that I allow myself to get to a point of being stagnant in my Christian walk. I pray that day never comes for me or anyone else around me, and that we all continually press on to learn more and more as we are on this journey called life.