Thursday, November 15, 2012

TO BE(LIEVE) OR NOT TO BE(LIEVE)? by Kendall Wright

(Articles between now and Thanksgiving will be based on questions to ask yourself so you can prepare your heart to truly be thankful. They are written by different women in our church. You may want to read the first one, Preparing for Thanksgiving, by Christie Smith.

As I’ve been sitting here the past few weeks wondering what important question I wanted to share for this, I couldn’t help but think of how many questions there truly are in my life. The conclusion to my college career is rapidly approaching and there are so many decisions to be made concerning where, what, how, and with whom I will be spending the next chapter of my life. I don’t necessarily consider myself a worrier (or at least won't publicly admit to it), but needless to say, I spend a majority of my time caught up in questions concerning all that’s going on and what is to come. A few weeks ago, though, in the midst of a seemingly unmanageable situation, it finally clicked. It’s amazing how many years it can take for something the Lord has been trying to teach you to just suddenly make sense. In the midst of all my doubt and worry, something I’d been reading suddenly stuck out in the sweet gentle voice of Elisabeth Elliot who, by the way, is one of my favorite people in the whole world despite the fact we’ve never met. “I do know that waiting on God requires willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.” 

What are your unanswered questions in life? I’d love to say that I only have one, but sharing each and every one of them would simply take more time and space than y’all would be willing to give me! Amazingly, I’m coming to discover that all of my questions, big and small, can be condensed down into one simple question: Do I or do I not truly believe that God—The all-powerful Creator and King of the Universe who dreamt of me and then loved that dream so much that He carefully knitted me together and didn’t stop there but lovingly went on to send his only Son as a sacrifice so that I might be able to spend eternity with Him—is in full control? I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to grasp this concept, but it is. So often we have those little sneaking doubts in the back of our minds…that one (or more than one if you are like me!) question that seems to ease its way back into your thoughts and before you know it, you’re sucked in. The wise words of Elisabeth Elliot once again ring in my mind: “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” Who are you taking your questions to? Are you unloading them before family and friends, are you letting them silently weigh you down? Are you writing them down in a journal and “praying” about them, or are you truly handing them over to the only One who knows what is in store for you?

In the midst of all the questions that generally tend to rule my thoughts, Christ has somehow turned my unmanageable life into a life of joy and peace due solely to His gentle reminder of all of this every day. And what makes it so beautiful is that it doesn’t even make sense. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I’m slowly learning to take comfort in the fact that while there will always be questions surrounding our lives and our futures, we have a Great and Loving Counselor who takes utter delight when His children come to Him in faith and look to Him for the answers to our inmost questions. 

Isaiah 46:3-4 “Listen to Me, Oh house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He Who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

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