I have been ruminating over this post for over a month. If I am to stay true to the intent of this blog, to encourage others who are called to the "overcomers" life, I must "keep it real," which is our family motto. This presents the challenge of protecting others' privacy, my own, and my concern of presenting the over-coming life as something NO ONE would want to embrace. If I "keep it real," I risk confusing the younger Christian, which I don't want to do. God Bless the younger Christians (and I don't mean physical years). At that phase of our walk, we are so sure of ourselves. Ah, I remember it well.
I was listening to a marvelous sermon by A.W. Tozer, and what he said really blessed me. He spoke on the Christian life, and how, at times, it can be very lonely. God has placed me in a somewhat isolated spot. The Christians that I have met, while very dear, have a different call on their lives. They are confident that the successful life they are experiencing is based on their own choices, prayer life, and behavior. Unless you've experienced God's closed doors, of course, it makes sense that you would believe that. I know, I used to believe that, too.
So, here is the first of my struggles. God's closed doors. I have a dynamic personality, am well-educated, and cannot get hired at any decent corporation. And, having applied at no less than 75 places, I have had plenty of time to ponder God's decision to bolt this door shut. I have mounting bills and debt, which, in the past has caused me great shame (previous posts address my pride battle), but now, seems to be a way of life. Medical bills, school loans, and trying to make it month to month is a great weight on my shoulders. I have led my family, alone, for 16 years, and have asked God to pay the bills, because there simply isn't enough funds to do it all. I know I've mentioned this before (perhaps droned), but it is what it is.
The other issue, ironically, one I should have been aware of the moment I published my first post, is the state of Christianity. Who are all these people saying they are Christians? Granted, I've only been a Christian some 30 years, but, I definitely see a chasm forming. Tozer's sermon reminded me about the new era we are in. Oh, sure, we've been talking about it for a long time, but really think about it. First, there were the Jews, who were set apart. Out of the Jews, a separate group was born called "Christians." Now that we in the United States refer to anyone who believes that there is a God, or presence, or something supernatural, as a Christian, what are we to call those of us who are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, like the Apostle Paul, or Peter? Yes, we are all saved by Grace, but after our initial salvation our old creation is supposed to go away - not overnight, mind you, but little by little. I wonder what the name of this group will be?
I named this blog based on those whom God called out from the average Christian life, but, don't be confused, I'm not referring to what the world considers "average." Those "Christians" who are "serving" the Lord, obeying only select commands, but refusing the path God has set before them because it prickles at their self-will, are not whom I reference. Today, every pop/rap/country/etc... singer, movie star, and politician refer to themselves as Christians. Some young people on Facebook, living with their significant others, having babies, partying 'til the wee hours of the night, refer to themselves as Christians. Their criteria for the Christian life is based on a worldly, self-centered version of "Love." True, we are commanded to love, but there are a heck of a lot more commandments in addition to love. True love cannot exist with self-indulent behavior (Galatians 5:13). The fruit of true love cannot hang from the same tree of sin. Those bound to intense sin or choosing such a life, not seeking deliverance or help from God, no thought of repentance, calling themselves Christians. Imagine a church, pews filled with these kinds of believers. Where do we fit in?
So, here we are. On our knees (or leaning on my back support) in prayer. Many have a glimpse of what the future holds, but we're not sure what our role will be. I, for one, am probably exactly where God wants me to be: Dependent on Him, unable to plan anything, living day to day following His will. This is great training for the future, but, wow, not easy when your kids' tires are bald and several need medical attention that I can't afford.
I don't need advice or encouragement, even the most loving and well intentioned. I need to forgive God for what I perceive as relentless training, without much "rain." Forgive myself for wrong choices. I need to be content in all circumstances. Accepting, by faith, that this is working for good in my life, even though much of the last 16 years didn't make sense. Persevering. Repenting. Thankful and grateful for what I do have.
It gives me great joy to see my children prosper, which helps me to accept my circumstances. Had I broken out of this prison, I don't think they would have turned out to be such awesome Christians. I often think of how my life would be different if I had an eighth of the maturity, godliness, and wisdom that they possess at their young age.
So, if you made it this far down the page, you will understand why I haven't written any thought-provoking, encouraging, enlightening posts in over a month :). Run your race and don't give up. I'll keep you "posted" (you know me and my love of puns:) so you know you're not alone.