Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so...
Alot of people have asked me what the last 2-1/2 years of my life have been like--especially in regards to my faith. I mean, let's face it, you give your life to ministry (first as a student minister; then, as a pastor) it kind of makes people believe you have some kind of special protection in place over your life. So, when your wife and son are taken by a car accident and a medication error at a hospital, what does that do to your faith?
Honestly, it shook it really hard. There were long days and even longer nights of re-examining everything I had ever held to be true. Was there a heaven? Was my wife there? What does the Bible really mean when it says that in everything we should give thanks or that "in all things" God can work out something good? Did I really believe that? If not, then where did I start over to put together a faith system around which to build my life.
I have to tell you that my beliefs are completely different now than they were before that April afternoon. Probably not in the way that you would think. They are stronger. You see, I had always believed many of the things I did because my parents had told me to. Many of the tenets of my faith were built around truths that had come from a role model or a Sunday School teacher or a pastor from my past. And, as much as I loved all of them, many of them had never had those tenets challenged by real life. They held to those truths because they had no reason to doubt them. I held to them for the same reason until that day. Now, I find myself holding on to them because I have seen them blasted by reality. I have seen the "storms" that so many people refer to and have seen the foundations of my faith hold up. The God that I thought I knew on April 3rd, 2004 has shown himself to be the God that I know in a more profound way on January 17th, 2007.
Now, don't mistake my confidence. It did not come without doubt. It did not come without me telling God how unhappy I was with Him. It did not come without tears and shouts and screams and long discussions. But it came...and that is what I hold to. No matter how dark those nights became or how lonely I might get, God was still God and His love for me was still true. I just had to be still to feel it. That's my word for you...keep moving. Keep fighting God, keep questioning God, keep struggling with God but don't ever move so far away that you cannot see His face when He comes. Because He will come!! He will show Himself to be faithful and true. This I know. Not because the Bible told me so...but because real life has shown it to me.