Faith

I wrote this post over two years ago. It has sat in my draft box simply out of fear or someone making a joke of my faith. I love the Lord, but still often cower at the idea of being more open about it. Especially because, I am scared that if I let it be known I am a Christian (and a devout one at that), that I am immediately associated with the college campus rebel rousers who were hateful toward homosexuals, and I just don’t want that. So, read along. And leave your thoughts in the comment section.

To be in your twenties and be a devout Christian is a paradox in our society. In our intellectual society, the need for religion in the sense of salvation is meaningless. We don’t see ourselves as lost people. We are people who brim on the edge of self discovery. What exactly is this self that we are unlocking? What exactly lies behind the door of ourselves that we don’t know? I have glimpsed before. There is little value. Anything of worth is cheapened by the vast amount of destruction and disaster that surrounded it. So, yes I turned to Christ, but not after looking at myself and determining this: “If within me lies the burden and weight of me, mustn’t I be stronger than myself to save myself.”  I long to be stronger than myself. I long to solely overcome my vices. However, I am not. The weight on my chest is much heavier than I can lift.

Perhaps, you consider Christ a cop out. He is a simple man’s fairy tale. I use my faith as a crutch, to ease my conscience, of the shame it feels for not being able to correct myself, without the aid of a being far more superior and infinite than my silly intellect. Pride would not allow me this honor. My pride is such an arrogant beast that the notion she needs someone to tame her sends her bucking wildly in her sinfulness. In less allegory, who wants to admit that they cannot fix themselves? No one. No one does. It is embarrassing to know that while I gossip constantly, I even with my best attempts alone, I cannot control it. It is hard to admit that, in my mind a war wages for my sanity, my trust, and my livelihood. My flesh, this carnal composition stuffed to the brim of self, does not want to admit that it needs help saving my soul. Maybe you do not believe in a soul. Are you not still prideful?

In my work, there are instances where my knowledge is limited on a task. I will not complete my work unless I request help. Yet, I still meander meaninglessly because I would rather disappoint my coworkers with my shortcoming (that hurts us all) than humble myself and admit I need help because I simply don’t know how to do this (only hurting my pride, who in fact needs to be continuously murdered; my pride does not deserve a kind death). Again, one could say he is a simple man’s fairy tale. However, I spent years watching Disney movies. I have seen princess’s saved by princes hundreds of time. While, it is not factual, it is believable. Consider the story of Cinderella. A young woman, whose father and mother have passed, lives with her stepmother and two homely stepsisters. She is forced to do all the housework and care for all aspects of the home. One day while crying in the garden about not attending the Royal Ball, a woman appears transforms her and sends her off to the ball. She meets the prince, they dance, she is on a time crunch so she runs back to the house. Prince is so infatuated with her that he sets out to find her using the only thing she left, a shoe. {Aside: Seriously prince charming you spent all night dancing with her and you can’t remember her face? This is not a dark club. It’s a brightly lit ball. Also, her shoe? Like no one else has the same size foot….SLOP} He finds her, love, happiness, blah blah blah. This story is so believable it has several modern remakes including, Cinderella Story and the lesser Another Cinderella Story.

While fictional tales, those still are insurmountably more believable than Jesus. Jesus, eternal and part of the Trinity (which is another interesting and difficult Christian concept). Jesus, the coming Messiah prophesied from the days of old. Throughout the Old Testament several prophets foretold of what the coming Messiah would do. From the way He would look (Isaiah 53:2) to what He would do for us it was all spoken about. Prophesy after prophesy was fulfilled from His miracles to His death to His Resurrection. All of it, completed. If it were simply a story it would be the most glorious tale of all. If measured by the means of man, it would stand at the pinnacle of mortal altruistic events for all humanity from now until eternity. However, it is not a story. It is not a myth or legend. It is real. It is supported by faith. And recognizing faith is a completely unnecessary skill, except for belief in something that is hard to believe. I know my belief in Christ is unbelievable…for not all have faith, but the Lord is faithful.

Faith is the evidence of belief in Christ (Hebrews 11:1). Our society tosses the word, faith, to freely. It doesn’t take faith to win a football game. It takes skill, practice, and good leadership. It doesn’t take faith to believe that our world is going to be alright. It is not going to be alright. We can keep calm and carry on as much as we want, but this world is going downhill so steadily that we think we are going up. Or maybe if you just believe in yourself you can lose weight. Actually leave your belief in yourself at the door, as well as your fattening foods and pick up a gym membership. See, faith is a substance. Faith is the matter of things hoped for. Faith is the evidence of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).

Christ. He takes some belief; he takes faith. Even unpopular and unbelievable in His own day and age. Fastforward to 2013, I sound insane. However, it is my immovable faith in Christ that has carried me. The weight of sin and self bound me down. He lifted it. He lifted me.

I look at this post now through the filter of the fight that was 2014. These words ring truer now than before. While, my faith wavered-drastically at times-it never stopped. It was wise for Christ himself to promise us struggle and pain in this life. Struggles when siphoned through Christ produce hope. Not hope, that I will travail, but that Christ already has.

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