My friends and I were talking recently about how the Christian life sometimes feels like two steps forward and fifty back. Although the Lord’s delivered me from the bondage of anxiety, I still worry about my kids. I recently spoke at a conference about how God’s helped me stop people pleasing, but I still spend too much time obsessing over my clothes, hair and what others think of both. Even basic things like believing God’s Word, loving unlikeable people and driving nicely, are ongoing struggles.
When I seem to consistently take fewer steps forward than back, I sometimes wonder if church works.
I know people who don’t love Jesus who are patient, kind, and forgiving. They don’t have road rage and aren’t trying to look younger. Although I realize my perceptions of the un-churched may be just that, sometimes I still question… Sometimes I find myself preoccupied with my inabilities and failures and I wonder… Sometimes I get stuck in cycles of doubt and skepticism about God and the Bible and I think to myself…
Does church make a colossal difference? Does it help me look anymore like Jesus, really?
But last Tuesday, I read II Corinthians 4:16 for my weekly Bible Study and Pastor Chandler reminded us to, “Win the Day.” He encouraged us not to beat ourselves up when we’ve already experienced God’s grace and forgiveness, but to focus on being renewed today. For several days I woke up challenged and grateful for the simple reminder to ask the Spirit help me quit looking back and instead just,
Win The Day.
Last Thursday, I met with my friend Eda to talk about ministry. When the conversation deviated to how difficult and worrisome it is to raise teenagers, my friend looked me square in the eyes, paused and said assuredly,
“He’ll redeem anything.”
I walked away from that meeting with renewed confidence, peace and a greater faith in God’s plan for my children.
Wednesday, at Hope Street, Charles read a devotional that said if we imagine our lives to be like living in a house made entirely of glass windows, why would we look only out of one? Why, when God has been teaching me so much this past year about His faithfulness, my identity in Him and loving others, do I continue going back to the same window overlooking a view of doubt and defeat He’s already upended? Charles reminded us of the power that comes when we,
Shift Our Focus.
Does church work? I’m realizing it doesn’t work as well for me when it’s just my Sunday thing. My life and mind are fragmented, complicated and distracted. I need daily Christian community, time in God’s Word and simple reminders. I need and love “Sunday church,” but The Church isn’t a building, time slot or activity. The Church works best when I live remembering,
It’s Christ at the center of who I am, what I do, and the how I respond to the people and relationships in front of me,