When things begin to stand still and I don’t see the “change” and “progress” I think is required-despite my best efforts and most earnest prayers, I begin to wonder:
-Am I doing enough? (After all, no matter how much I do, it won’t be enough.)
-Have I somehow missed something? (Because no matter how thorough, there’s always something I could have over-looked or could have addressed better.)
-Why is He so quiet of late? (I know that He is often silent, but is it a sign of His displeasure or us He waiting on for something from me? Does He simply not NEED to say anything?)
I tend to measure my value to God by my “success” or ability to complete, or how excel others or “win” at the things I do. Paul saw it differently. He saw his work for God as his response in love to his salvation through Jesus Christ; his life was more like a “race” than a series of successes or attempts to hit personal goals.
And that “race” is not a “dash”, it’s a life-long marathon. “Winning” means that I complete the race, not that I complete my “bucket list” or achieve those marks of “having arrived” that I have created in my own mind based on what others have accomplished. I am called to keep pace with Jesus Christ…..and not attempt to keep up with a televangelist, an accomplished author, a gifted speaker or even the most humble man or woman I meet. His pace seems at time relentless and impossible (!) and yet I find that if my eyes are set upon Him I am somehow able to keep up. But if I lose the focus on Him and begin to realize just how dark, deep and ominous that water is below me I immediately begin to sink.
Ultimately all my anxious thoughts are not really about me being good enough to warrant His attention (I am not good enough), or wondering if have worked hard enough and been faithful enough (again, I fail in both); my anxiousness is related to my lack of faith that He will protect me. That’s the truth. What makes me doubt? Why do I not think back to the times He has always caught me and kept me from falling.
This is one of the reasons Christian fellowship is so essential! We need to be reminded that we all are struggling and we need to be reminded of the very things we were certain we would never forget! The essential question for each of us to ask about the churches we attend simply this: Are we being reminded—-is our memory being jogged—about the truths about Him that are irrefutable. Each day, am I remembering to seek Him and His Kingdom work with all my heart—-and then truly trusting Him to take care of all the rest?