During the past 12 years I've finished 7 marathons. At some point during each one of them (usually around mile 20)... I've hit a wall. Didn't think I would see that wall again until the Fall, but I was wrong. A wall of life hit me last week. This wall was different and I wasn't running a marathon ... As I type this I ask for prayers. I ask for prayers of strength, prayers of forgiveness, and prayers of discernment. Not only for me, but for anyone that has been beaten down. I won't go into details, but will tell you that in the past week I've faced many challenges. All of them relate to being a good Christian in the wake of adversity. As Christians, we are challenged to live our lives on Biblical principals while being surrounded by those that would easily cast the hurting aside or absolve themselves of the challenges that come with living and loving together as true believers of Christ. Some of these individuals call themselves friends, some neighbors, and some just acquaintances, but all in all I've had the distinct displeasure of experiencing what it feels like to live among pretenders, gossipers, and slanderers this past week. I not only felt their vile spit, but became engrossed in it, tortured by it, and beaten down by it. But, during it all I was able to remain somewhat centered. Why? Hebrews 11. That simple, that easy ... FAITH
In the past I would have probably went off the handle, but I think I've finally reached a point in my walk where I've been able to reach down into my toolbox and pray rather than judge, distance rather confront, and love rather than hate.
Its curious how hard times present us with choices. I once heard a quote that said its not the setbacks that define us, its how we respond to those setbacks. How very true that is. I would also add that when facing adversity, its our faith that truly defines us and our actions.
Back to choices and back to the reason for this email other than just my weekly thoughts on life. I made a choice and it wasn't an easy one. I made a choice to not judge, but also not to try to understand those that don't show God's love. How much love do I have for them? A whole lot, but I have to resist the urge to be a Man and to "fix it now". Time to let God do some work. If he needs me to be a vehicle, he will let me know in his time. Until then... I'll run on... it is marathon training season after all.
Finally, I know I've rambled some today and it was intentional. You see I wanted you to know a couple of things:
1. I'm far from perfect and struggle just like everyone. I believe we learn from each other and I am an open book to be learned from. Use me if you need to as a good example... shoot, use me as a bad example, but see me as I am ... broken and only saved through the Grace of our Perfect God!
2. Next time something happens to rock your world and question your impression of the world I encourage you to open your Bible, read Hebrews 11 and tell me what it says to you about Faith. Let that be a tool for you as its been for me.
Next week is going to be a better week. I don't think it, I know it. Live by Faith my Brothers and Sisters and Run On!
Love in Christ,