I believe in God the Eternal Father and in his son, Jesus Christ. I have faith born of personal experience. It is a personal relationship upon which I have learned to rely. When things happen in my life that distort and threaten my personal sense of security, my relationship with God is the one solid, enduring thing I can hold onto while I try to make sense of what is happening. I have had many experiences that have taken me into places I did not enjoy physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. In looking back as I have passed through to the conclusion of them I have realized the sometimes painful, often uncertain journey. Through my faith in God, my purpose in life comes back into focus and I return to it, stronger for the experience.
How does faith in God stabilize and strengthen my life? I know of an enduring love. One that is kind and not self-serving. I can be confident in the counsel I receive in answer to my questions. When I don't fully understand the answers I receive, I have learned to be patient, continuing in faith and when I am fully prepared, understanding comes. In the confidence that comes with experience, I have learned that what I think is of greatest importance isn't necessarily important in the eternal perspective. Even in pain and suffering there are lessons to be learned that strengthen character.
Keeping commandments gives order to life. When commandments come from an all-knowing and wise mentor, it is very liberating to have the pattern to follow. While doing so may remove the opportunity to do some things, it also keeps at bay the negative results of having done them. In giving up the choice to disobey, I have the liberty to enjoy the promise of obedience free from the angst of uncertainty. This strengthens my relationship with God and builds confidence in my own ability to meet life's challenges successfully.
There have been occasions when my faith has faltered. Most often it occurs when I have taken matters into my own hands without counseling with my mentor and friend. In my own temerity I have thought my own views to be superior, only to find that I had not considered everything I might have to prevent my own failure. Try as I might, too frequently my efforts to right the wrong end in equally devastating disaster. Not until I am willing to accept that I have indeed made a mistake and meekly return to relate the tale to my ever-loving, infinitely patient, kind and forgiving mentor and friend do I find my way out of the uncomfortable, uncharted territory.
We are living in an uncertain time. Things that we have come to think of as certain are not. Defenses once thought to be impregnable have been breached. Things financial, physical, emotional and psychological are no longer secure. This is a new reality for many of us. We are in a boat on the sea of life and for many the waves are threatening to capsize us. The Apostle Peter learned as he attempted to walk on the water of a boisterous sea, that doubt and fear can sink us. Faith in God and in His son, Jesus Christ can save us. Perhaps not from the tribulation, but they can help us keep it all in a perspective of abiding and enduring faith. We can overcome any doubt, any fear, any adversity if we will but, "look to God and live."
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