Why Faith?

Recently, I was in an interview with a leader from my denomination who asked me a basic question about how I practice my faith. In a sense, he simply wanted me to articulate my faith and why I believe it’s not only important to me, but why it’s important to evangelize to others.
A straight-forward question, without a doubt.
And I answered it.
But since then, I’ve really been reflecting on this broad question of faith.
What exactly do I believe about my faith and why is it important to share it?

Thankfully, I’ve experienced the love and provision of Jesus Christ in very tangible, concrete terms. I understand not everyone has experienced this. Or if they have, they haven’t quite named it.

When my wife was sick and her survival was in question, I not only had a job to do and bills to pay, but I also 5 young kids relying on me, both physically and emotionally. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t just curl up in a corner and shut out the world. I had to function. I had to live. So it was the risen Christ actively at work, raising me up each and every day through the whole crisis.
Helping me place one foot in front the other.
Helping me do what I had to do each day to fulfill my responsibilities as a husband, father, son, son-in-law, brother and friend. Because emotionally and even physically, I was at the end of my rope. But that’s usually where God shows up. Thankfully for me, he did.

And the Sprit didn’t just keep me functioning, but also, I was consistently comforted. There were many days and many nights were I felt the warmth, the true warmth like when you’re cold and take a sip of hot soup and you can feel it emanate throughout your body, of God’s presence. I would marvel at how, despite the sadness I was experiencing, I would feel such encouragement. It was like a light pulsing through my body, crowding out the darkness that was desperately trying to take hold.

Only God could do this.

But God didn’t just show up in me, God also showed up in countless others who provided for me and my family during this time. Paul writes in Galatians, “Bear one another’s burdens” (6:2) and thats precisely what people did. So it was one thing to personally experience God’s presence, but to see it in others was all the more reassuring. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.” This is most certainly true. When I couldn’t hold something, the hands of Christ acted through someone else.
When I couldn’t think clearly, the mind of Christ worked through a loved one, who picked up the slack and made decisions.
Everyone I knew and loved played a part in keeping my family and my life whole.

It’s difficult to journey through an experience such as this and not reflect on it with such a sense of awe that you can only look up and give praises. In fact, it’s now been three years and I obviously continue to draw on this experience for support and inspiration.

And this is just one example of how God has worked in my life. There have been other examples for sure, when I feared losing my job, when loved ones have struggled and I felt powerless to help, or just when I felt lost in terms of my life’s direction. God has consistently shown up to love me, comfort me, and guide me.

These are just the ways God has worked in my life. Others have experienced God differently.

And through Scripture and through the witness of others, and by having my eyes of faith opened, I see God at work everywhere.

When the needy are cared for,
I see God is at work.
When orphans are found homes,
I see God is at work.
When the homeless are sheltered,
I see God is at work.
Whenever people feel safe, loved, and valued,
I see God is at work.

Sometimes I get frustrated or discouraged when I look and see these things not being done.  There is too much pain in the world.  But that’s usually my cue to act.  Because maybe God is waiting on me to partner with him to help bring these to fruition. God needs our hands and feet here on earth to bring his desires to pass.

I deeply believe this. But I fear that the busyness of our lives are keeping us as a society from seeing the active work of God. We live in a culture seemingly dependent on black and white answers, and committed to rationalizing away anything with a hint of mystery. We seem to be turning so inward that we are increasingly critical of ourselves and others, and are attempting to do everything on our own without tapping into the expansive, limitless, and available power of God.
It’s making us sad and lonely.
It’s making us fearful and angry.

So if I’m asked why I want to tell others about my God and my faith. This is why.
I desperately want others to see that God is at work in their lives and in the world.
Where love abounds, there is God! And it is an awesome, awesome power.
God is already there.
We are never, ever alone.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, I want to help everyone I encounter make that connection.

And once these connections are made, and in response to this love, I am confident that we will act more justly in the world.
Because of God’s presence in our lives,
we will craft laws that are compassionate and just.
We will build and create institutions that are honest and fair.

We will make better decisions
in our cubicles
in our boardrooms
in our homes
and in our churches.

To me, this is is how you change the world. By simply letting God work through us. Believe it, for it is most certainly true.

So why on Earth would I NOT want to tell everyone about this?

One Comment

Son I wish you were coming to our church, you see the need to understand God in your life and not just to hear it presented in the pulpit. We must learn to be disciples. You are a blessing!

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