Yesterday, I found myself overwhelmed, looking at so many things in this world and in my own life that I am sure need fixing but appear pretty much beyond help. I think I know from whence came my extreme funk: Our present “Pandemic” circumstance—having been “shutdown” over and over through the past year, separated from family and friends, seeing people struggle financially and emotionally, and hearing about the many that have experienced family loss because of the terrible virus. We hear about it every day. We might not like to admit this, but for many of us it has contributed to a sense of personal powerlessness, and yesterday I felt that in a big way.
This morning, I decided to do something productive. I would at long last clean up my desk, starting with drawers that hadn’t seen the light of day in years.
What a treasure chest for the discouraged! There I found notes, reviews, and cards from readers of my first two books. Among them, I found a note from a lovely lady, a great-grandmother, who had just finished reading Keepers of the Testimony. It encouraged my heart today, straightened out my thinking. So I thought I’d share, in case you need the kick in the pants I needed.
In your new manuscript you spelled out the process whereby I can become a more faithful Christian, especially when faced with what seems like impossible obstacles. What I comprehend after reading Keepers of the Testimony is to be obedient to God’s commands, even when it looks impossible. I know this is shown to me over and over in scripture, but I can so easily say, ‘I can’t possibly do this.’ You stress in this writing that all things are possible when we partner with God and trust him.
I search my heart and ask myself, ‘What am I believing God will do?’
It doesn’t take a lot of faith to pray for continued health when I am healthy. It doesn’t take a lot of faith to pray for God to supply my needs, like food and shelter, in our country of Canada. It doesn’t take a lot of faith to be friendly to my neighbours when there isn’t a gun or a knife pointed at me. It’s easy to thank God for all of these things.
How much faith do I really have?
Do I totally believe that when I put my children and all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren in God’s care and teaching, that they will walk in His way? Do I really believe He can cause circumstances that will ultimately accomplish this? I can go through the motions, but is my faith great enough to know this will absolutely happen?
Abraham was promised that his descendants would number as the sand of the seas, and he was obedient [to God’s instructions] based on God’s promises. On page 103, you state: ‘It would appear, then, that the process which stood between the promise given to Abraham and its fulfillment was called faith; that is, holding fast to the promises in the face of contrary circumstances, and then acting in obedience to whatever God said.’
Thank you for writing Keepers of the Testimony. I found it challenging. I also found it uplifting and encouraging.
Today, Beth’s letter brought my focus back where it needs to be.
Not on my circumstances; I have no power to change them.
Not on my faith; it can often feel weak.
My focus needs to be on the One who is neither powerless nor weak. The One who has made promises that I need to dust off, if necessary, and put before my eyes and in my mouth. The One whose stories are not over; whose ancient testimonies are prophesies for today, food for my hope, and clarity for my vision.
They are true, because He is true, in every sense of the word. My own God Stories shout that it is so.
“I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies,” (Psalm 119:59).