On my knees, I sing;
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Faith like a child’s is so hard to maintain the older you grow, because the needless worry about things of this world takes over your being like the wave of the ocean slapping against the rocks laid across it’s shores. It comes with a force you’re not prepared for and could sweep you into the unknown depths of the ocean if you’re not strongly rooted where you stand.
Much as we all want it to be smooth for us, life is not meant to be easy. It is meant to be lived and some times will be good, other times rough. And through all this, only one thing can keep us on our feet, pushing on toward that ray of hope in the distance, and that is FAITH! Faith in the Lord Jesus or whatever higher power you believe in.
I am not a preacher but I believe in the saving love of Christ. That His Cross is a blessed assurance of love and mercy for me. Mehn! There have been moments when all the strength I have left is to give it all up to Him who understands what I feel like no other person ever will.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Faith, like every other thing in one’s life also has seasons. (Especially if your living a typically normal life like mine.)
The first season is when you’re a child. You have complete trust in the powers above to make everything alright for you. The powers above are represented by God, as you are told and your parents. You just have to ask and you will receive or a gentle explanation is given if they cannot cater to your needs. But your faith in this season is unwavering. You’re totally rooted and nothing can shake you. You can even comfortably threaten a bully in your dad’s name because you know he will defend you.
Then comes the young adulthood season; from your mid teens and stretches to your mid-twenties. You’re discovering things, emotions and learning about consequences. Your wild at heart and do not want to hold back, but the pain associated with making wrong choices and disobedience of advice from those who know better gets to you. Even the lack of advice at all. Then you begin to question your faith in God and your parents, the powers above are no longer that reliable. They are letting you face the storm and you strongly feel it’s unfair. You begin to re-distribute your faith. You put it in friends and other people who are appealing to you, you begin to trust in material things because you feel like to conquer and have a name among your peers is what matters. All meaning of life gets distorted and you sink further and without a strong hand to keep you in check, you get lost completely. But at the back of your mind, you remember the faith your parents taught you and you struggle with sticking to it or finding your own path, after all, it worked or even still works for them like it did for you back in the day.
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Then comes the season of adulthood and responsibilities. You either return to the faith you knew as a child and rekindle your relationship with the Lord or find a new path you believe will make life more meaningful. Bottom line, you take the path that gives you strength, because at this stage you have realized the mistakes of your youth and can now see the bigger picture and desire to live up to your life’s purpose according to the will of the Lord. You’re more intentional now; you lose some friends and make new ones because of what they represent for you and what value they add to your life. And as you de-clutter your spiritual life, the right people start to come along. They become the angels sent by God to give you guidance and remind you of how much you are loved. In them you find the mercy promised by God and you feel blessed and each day become more grateful for the gift of life.
I have friends who despite the distance between us, have become a daily source of spiritual nourishment. Through daily devotion and scripture readings, they have continued to remind me that all hope is not lost. There are movies that have shown me that my prayer strategy is lacking and through the story line you see how to fight the battles of this world the right way. War Room is one I recommend for all to watch.
What you choose to believe can either bless you or doom you. If your faith tells you that your way is the right way and others are wrong, you better think twice. We are all different and what works for you may not work for the other. We have divided the Lord basing on our human beliefs and this has in turn divided us as His people. We, therefore, have to look beyond what we think is right or wrong and live in Christ unconditionally. Like one song by Rhonda Vincent says;
There are many people, who will say they’re Christians
And they live like Christians on the Sabbath day
But come Monday morning, till the coming Sunday
They will fight their neighbor all along the way
Oh you don’t love God
If you don’t love your neighbor
If you gossip about him, if you never have mercy
If he gets into trouble, and you don’t try to help him
Then you don’t love your neighbor
And you don’t love God
We ought to pray for each other because we are not meant to change the other but lead by example. Jesus did not force any one to change who they were to love Him. He loved us all unconditionally and we saw by His example a worthy way of life, one that will guarantee us eternal life. But not all will believe. He was hanged by non-believers, and by fighting them today or trying to win them over doesn’t guarantee they will truly love Him. Best we can do is love them and forgive those who insult our faith and pray for them.
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Last week, I buried my aunt. And during her funeral service, the one thing that stood out was her strong faith in the Lord. And as the priest delivered his homily, he said that “we did not choose to come into this world and neither can we choose when to leave. Life therefore, is a gift we must appreciate regardless of the challenges we face”. Aunt battled cancer and despite all, she emerged a victor.
I pray that going forward, the season of a renewed love for God grows stronger and that all desires, decisions and choices are made in the Lord. For He only can bring us true joy, peace and satisfaction.
We each have our spiritual foundation and mine is in the Catholic faith, many have persuaded me to change that but it is as good as asking me to give up my identity because someone said so. It is through the Catholic church that I know Christ and honor Him through the sacraments. I will not persuade anyone to change to ‘my’ church, because first its not mine but Christ’s church and I had rather love them for who they are. They are God’s amazing and unique creation. And if something about me draws them closer to the Lord, I pray they recognize Him and not wander far and wide trying to find Him. For me He is always in the Blessed Sacrament, and His mercy, providence and love manifest through my neighbors. I have seen His grace and experienced His love in my daily moments of need. Some look for miracles to see him, some look for other people they believe are anointed to experience the love of God. I believe we all have seen the Lord but we did not recognize him because we have put a limit to who He is for us.
Let’s open our hearts to His Blessed Assurance that we will see Him, that he walks with us everyday and that whatsoever we do to the least of our neighbors, we have done unto the Lord. We are all created in the likeness of God, and we should pray for the grace to see the Lord in each other and be Heaven’s ambassador to those around us.
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
I rejoice for the Lord is so good to me. His mercy is unending and His love sustains me. May I always recognize His hand in all my life even when all seems dark and low. I pray for all creation, and especially for the human race, that we may all recognize each other as brothers and sisters and live as one in God.