I have been a Christian (follower of Jesus Christ) for over 26 years. As far back as I can remember, I always believed in God. I remember as a child playing outside by myself and sitting in the snow fort. The wind outside the fort was a blizzard. Back in that day, we did have snowdrifts as high as our snack-bar roof. It was a lot of fun making snow caves. Nice clean healthy fun. One day I was in the fort just talking to God. I was a child and I had childlike belief. The years went by.
It was not until later in my adult life when I actually had this need embedded within me to want to know more about God; to somehow find answers to the many questions in regards to the meaning of life, and of death. You see, my brother Larry had passed away that year. When he died, all these thoughts and questions came to my mind. I went on a quest for answers. The avenues varied. Long of the short, the answers had been there all along. When I looked back to years before his death, I remembered a book my brother Larry had given to me some years ago. It is a book called "Jesus". At the time, I flipped through the book and put it aside. I was busy with my two young children and just interested in other things; like writing depressing poetry and songs. You know the kind of songs country singers write and sing. That was my way of filtering through my emotions whatever they were. We all have them and the thoughts, the worries, insecurities, questions which bombard us. In one way or another,we cope through whatever it is.
During my walk with the Lord, I have travelled many roads while always trying to remain on the narrow road. Sometimes the road can seem so narrow, more like a little path. That is because the things of the world can be like weeds choking the road and making it more like a cow trail. It is during times like these when I have had to pray "Lord help my unbelief".
There are times in our lives when we are faced with major problems, concerns, anxieties, fear and we worry about the outcome of these problems. I think it is natural to worry. We may think that the problems will never end. Over my twenty six years of following Jesus, I have experienced many trials: The feeling of grief, helplessness, fear, depression. Some of these emotions due to sadness felt from - death of my brother, suicide of my brother in-law Steve, the death of my sister in-law Laurie, one by one our Aunts and Uncles passing - (a generation of family, my Dad, Mum, sister). There was also the feeling of helplessness watching other loved one's coping with sickness like cancer. Significant to myself was the loss which came from experiencing broken friendships, divorce, and the feelings of rejection which accompany. Then came the empty nest syndrome and so on. Many changes and experiences which have come and gone. As life continues so do the struggles which come in many forms.
Many of these trials have brought me to my knees, sometimes screaming out loud. At times feeling like no one hears my cries. Then I remember the snow cave and I remember my childhood belief and talking to God. The reassurance that through all these trials I was not alone. It was His strength that held me steadfast and faithful. It was God's loving arms that pulled me along and up the hills and through the briars, through the thorns along the path. Today, I'm still on that narrow road. Jesus is still there with me and I have God's promises that whatever happens along that road, I am not alone. He will never leave me nor forsake me. Where ever I go, He goes with me. I'm human and sometimes fear can be a thorn which tells me that I can't help myself or help anyone. I can do what I can do. With God's help, I can do so much more, through Christ who gives me strength. I know who holds my future in His hands. I know what I believe. I believe what Jesus said. In the days when fear seems bigger than belief. When the pain of rejection raises it's ugly head and on days when I wonder why I bother, That is when I continue to pray.
"Lord help my unbelief." My unbelief is not in what God can do for me, it is not in what God can do through me for others. My unbelief is when I think in the natural and not in the Spirit of a Mighty and Amazing God. Unbelief is like a flame to an empty Styrofoam cup. It melts and leaves one hopeless. True belief stands the test of time like a piece of metal being transformed into a strong and sharp blade, purged and shape by the fire.
If we fill a Styrofoam cup with water (faith) then even if you put it in the middle of the fire the cup will not melt. Try it some time. I was amazed when someone did this. They filled a Styrofoam cup with water and put it in the middle of the fire. The cup sat there for a long time in the middle of the fire. It did not melt. The water evaporates over time. What do we do? We keep asking God to fill our cups. He will.
If you are feeling like the path you are walking on is choked by the briars of the world, and you are filled with all those same questions and fears and thoughts and feelings, I pray the Lord will fill your cup with his living water. May you truly find peace in the midst of the fire and believe and take hold of Jesus hand. He will give you the strength to overcome one day at a time. The years will pass and you will look back and see just how you made it through.