I sat, stoic in the pew on Sunday as our worship pastor challenged us to “step into our faith”. I thought about it long and hard. Stepping into my faith would mean that I would have to totally let go of what I wanted for my life and be willing to accept whatever God had for me. Stepping into my faith would require me to stride up to the cliff—look down---see the 200 foot drop and place one foot in front of the other and continue to walk. Was I up to that challenge? It meant examining my life---completely and in a most agonizing way. Was what I believed enough to carry me through what life had to bring? The answer---a resounding YES—stepping up meant placing my trust, my complete devotion into what God had for me. This may not be what I had in mind, but it is most certainly what God had in mind for me. It may not be the “easy” route (most likely it is far from easy), but it will be the most fulfilling in the end.
I have to admit that since Sunday I have been trying to figure out what it means for me to “step into my faith”. A friend had an old 4 Him cd on his ipod and shared the song “It is Well with My Soul” with me. Now, this is one of my most favorite hymns. I grew up singing it in church. It was a beautiful arrangement that I had not heard. I remember when my husband lost his job at Illinois Power—I was asked to sing this song in church the following Sunday—talk about stepping into my faith. I had to stand before 400 people and buy into these words. I remember singing the first verse:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Ok- good thing I didn’t have any idea what that would mean when facing the grief following the death of my husband HOWEVER it was a promise that when I began stepping into my faith it would sustain me through the trials of life, no matter what they were—then came the second verse:
Though Satan should buffet (pound, batter), though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Yikes—stepping into my faith became a bit harder, even though I knew my life was covered completely by what Jesus gave, I still didn’t seem to totally be able to make that “step”. Then came verse three:
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.
Now it becomes easier—to know that the God of the universe has taken the time to care about my simple life—and the decisions I am making—the life I have chosen to live-- is overwhelming to say the least. Stepping into my faith means coming full circle and embracing my life story and learning to find God’s grace despite my circumstances. Of course this is something I am totally unable to accomplish on my own. So I continuously reach out for the support of family, friends, my church community and the universe of believers that embrace faith.
This I know for sure.