Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Don't Discount My Struggle

As I learn and grow, I find that I have been guilty of dismissing experiences to which I can't relate. We all have our own path to travel. We all have different lessons to learn at different stages of life. What it took for you to know Christ may not be what it took for me to know Christ. Does that make either of our experiences less valuable?

My struggle may not look like much compared to yours, but it was still a struggle for me. Maybe I could have overcome your trouble in 15 seconds, but it wasn't mine to overcome. It was yours, and God had a lesson in it specifically for you. We need to stop allowing people with "bigger testimonies" to intimidate us into silence. Your testimony is just as important to the Kingdom as the next person's. Being cured of cancer is no greater than being cured of acid reflux, if that's what you're suffering with. A miracle is still miraculous.

Someone needs to know that God can be trusted with everything we may face. God cares that it's picture day, and you have Mt. Vesuvius on your forehead. Nothing is too small, nothing is too great. People will roll their eyes when Sister Nobody testifies of being late to work and missing an 8-car accident on her route. They will clap a little and dismiss that as mere coincidence, but the church will go bananas over Deacon Somebody receiving an all-clear from the doctor. Both testimonies are about God's grace and mercy. Both testimonies point to God's faithfulness. Both testimonies should be told.

We need to celebrate each other's victories, no matter how different they are. We must rejoice with those who rejoice, supporting and caring for one another. It doesn't matter that our experiences differ; we are on the Lord's side, and that makes us family. We should not be placing levels of importance on each other's struggles because we are all imperfect people. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

But Now My Eye Sees You!

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6 ESV)

At some point in your walk with the Lord, you will have to see Him for yourself. Knowing who He is by faith is great, but experiencing who He is in your life is inescapable. If your desire is to truly know Him, you will have to go through something. You can't just keep hearing the testimony of others, but you need to have a testimony to share with others.

No matter how much you try to empathize with someone, until you've been there, you just can't know. As Job is saying here, we have heard of God and trusted in Him, but when we actually see Him for ourselves, we see how ridiculously inadequate our measurement was. To say you know God to be a healer when a doctor has never scratched his head over your case isn't quite right. You know God CAN heal, but do you personally know Him as a healer? 

We will all have our faith tested in one area or another. It doesn't mean your faith is weak; it means God wants to develop His relationship with you. Will you be willing to repent of what you thought you knew, and accept what God shows you with your own eyes? When God Himself challenges your finite wisdom, will you humbly submit and learn what He is teaching you? When bad things happen, are you looking for the cause, or are you looking for God?