Reflections during my camping trip at Eisenhower State Park – September 2015
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
October 14, 2014 – 7:40 AM. Everything changes.
In the summer of 2015, I found this lacking. Drawing close to a year after my father passed, it seemed my faith had all but shriveled up. “Where was God?” I asked. “How could a loving, gracious father allow this to happen?”
I think it’s common knowledge – anger is one of the stages of grief. You typically hear of it being directed toward the person who passed – “How could you leave me?”. I guess I always felt my dad would have stayed if he could have.
For me all of that anger took a different route. “How could you Lord!” I forget that the creator of the universe knows the number of the hairs on my head as well as how many stars stretch across the skies. I forget that he knows the order of all creation; and sees it past, present and future.
Rather than trusting God, who has all the information to make an “informed decision”, I say “Why on earth would you have ever done that?!?”. And I forget that he works all things out for His good and His glory.
Instead of holding on to faith that the Lord would see me through this, I doubted his provision. Instead of finding faith in awaiting that future moment in glory where me and my father would be reunited, I simply turned to anger in “Why can’t he be here with me now?”.
And as I let my faith diminish in my mind, the draw toward sin grew all the more. I began to struggle with sins of my past, and at time withdrew from the community I was a part of in the church. Although I wasn’t at the lowest point I’ve ever been, this felt worse. Not only did I know better than what I was doing, I’d seen myself better.
But God knows better still.
“But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
Romans 4:20b (ESV)
The key point I needed to remember was that regardless of how much I fall, how distant I felt, I am still saved by grace, reconciled to God through Christ, and have an identity that cannot be forsaken. From here I must remember that Christ is the founder and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2a). I cannot forget that if I pursue Him, He will give me the faith necessary to run the race.
Right now I find the one piece of evidence of my faith that stands out the most is that even when my natural self wants to forget, there is an inner self that remembers these things to be true.
I must look forward to that day when the Lord returns or calls me home – and remember that I will see my father again.
In Memory of Geronimo Gamez Jr.
February 25, 1956 – October 14, 2014