As of today, I will begin posting on Sundays as a part of my “Sunday Series.” The series will serve as an outlet to share and reflect on my spiritual journey. I hope that you will share your thoughts or simply read along. My hope is that what you read will be uplifting and/or thought provoking. This isn’t meant to be a place of judgement or anything like that, just a space for me to get some thoughts out!
Driving down the road the other day, I began thinking about our life and the uncertainty of it. If you have ever felt like you have been betrayed or left hanging out to dry, it can hurt. Especially if these feelings were brought on by someone you love and trust. Maybe someone who plays a big part in your spiritual journey.
A lot of my friends and some of the students I work with at my church, tell me stories about family members (or themselves) and how they were wronged by someone in the church. Some of them have been able to look past these incidences and move on, but some have been deeply wounded and have not returned to the church. After hearing some of the stories, it’s hard not to blame them. Church isn’t a place you come to be hurt.
When you become angry with the church or with Christians in general, it has the effect making you become apathetic towards God. As humans in our society, we have the tendency to relate everything that happens in church or in a community of believers to God Himself. We unknowingly give God the characteristics of the Christians we know. Even though we are taught that Christ is perfect, we still want to blame the falls of others on Him. You may have heard before “if God is like the people who follow Him, I don’t care to know Him.” Ouch.
But as I was driving, the thought popped into my head (divinely given, I would say), God is so much bigger than this. “This” being the uncertainty I am facing. Or the hurt you may be feeling. Or the impossible obstacle standing in front of you. God’s story stretches far beyond my situation. God’s love reaches beyond what I can see and make sense of. Stepping back and trying to see the big picture may help us to see that not just the here and now reflects God. We were all created to bear God’s image. Not just Christians. Every human was formed in a mother’s womb in the image of God. Of course, not everyone allows God’s image to be seen. Plenty of us don’t do a very good job bearing God’s image. But does that make God any less all-powerful, loving, and full of grace? No.
My circumstances- now and in the future- do not define God. When I am hurting or when I feel anxious about my future, I have to trust that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. I have to remember that everything good comes from Him.
Psalm 46:10 comes to mind when I think about this idea of a God who is bigger than the picture I see. “Be still and know that I am God.” No, things may not feel good or look right. I may have doubts about my future. But what I see, the feelings I have- those are mine. While my world moves at an unbelievable pace, God remains who He is and does not change. When people bring disappointment or I feel like things just won’t get any better, those are the times God wants me to be still and remember who He is.
God is so much bigger than what I can comprehend. He is God and I cannot let fear, anxiety, hurt, or uncertainty blur that. Remembering who He is- not who I am or who we are- is what will sustain me and give me strength. In these times I will quiet my mind and just be still in His presence. i can choose to be preoccupied with my current situation, or I can focus on the bigger story I am living out.
Remembering that I am loved by the Creator gives me peace in my circumstances. I can only pray that same peace extends in your life, even if just for today.