Remaining Faithful in the Quieter Times

Not always will we be on the mountaintop, experiencing to the fullest degree the near-tangible presence of God.  We cannot humanly muster the strength, nor the sheer determination of will, to prolong that experience any further than God Himself intends.

And so we find ourselves faced with the challenge—and it is, definitely, a challenge—to remain faithful to God and full of His spirit during the “normal days” of our existence.  Certainly, Christ still loves us, and he is no farther from us than when we felt closest to him.  But the milieu of life gets in the way and we neglect that fact.  Soon it seems as if the ardor of our faith were some distant memory of younger times.  We are eaten up by the world and its distractions, consumed by worry and fear about things indefinitely beyond our control but fully seized by our conscience.  We search for God and strive for faith, but find ourselves weak and empty.  The days are dark and gloomy, even in the bright sun, and the only thing that gets us through is the still-small voice of hope that beats in our breast.

But then, as some sweet little melody that gets stuck in our head, the realization of God’s love returns—be it in a gorgeous moonlit sky or the fullest breeze on our back.  It overwhelms and beckons us back to the blissful faith we first knew when Christ claimed our lives.  Everywhere we look we see God—in each place and every face.  And His voice tells us that He has never been away, never been farther than the hairs on our head.  Just as sure as summer and right as rain, God returns His faithfulness to us.  

By experiencing God’s presence anew, we are restored to the truth of who Christ is.  It is inescapable and unavoidable that Jesus Christ loves us, a fact we must own up to—even though it is much easier to believe otherwise.  It pains us to think that Christ could love us, given who we are and what we have done; yet this is precisely why he loves us.  Christ’s unconditional love for us breaks us, and it must.  Only then can we truly live in him.

This does not mean that we will not be faced with seasons of spiritual darkness.  As Christ was sent into the wilderness, so too will we.  But just as he went before us, Christ also goes with us into that wilderness; his love carries us.  No matter what the wilderness is that we face—the “normal days” of our jobs, our responsibilities, our debts and our dues—we no longer have to face those challenges alone:  the Lord Jesus is with us at every moment. 

If we are faced with solitude, let us celebrate the time we can focus on our relationship with Christ.  If we are enveloped by chaos, let us thank our God that Christ guides our footsteps through the storm.  And if we are given time with the people we adore, let us only love them more in the way Christ has taught us.  So then will our daily, “normal” lives become a faithful response to Christ’s love. 

Amen.

(–inspired by C.S. Lewis)

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