I've been beating myself up all week. I even wrote a blog post (unpublished) basically chewing out my future self for wanting to drop right back into a familiar self-destructive routine. For the past three years I have signed up to run a fairly long race the first week in May. I love doing it. I love how I feel after I have run farther than I thought possible. I love being in shape and having an awesomely honest woman at my church comment on a certain area of my body that is tigher and firmer after I have been training for a few weeks. Really, it happens, and I do love it! But, every year my training is non-existent until right around this time. Actually, this year I am already a couple weeks behind. So, when I could be enjoying my runs, I am sucking wind and kicking myself for my own laziness in not taking better care all throughout the year, of the body that I have been given. I am starting from scratch because I have been, in a word, unfaithful.
I think the one sentence in this whole session that really got my attention was this, "If we are faithful, others can depend on us." It stopped me like a brick wall. If this is in fact true, then the opposite is also true.
Here is where I could hang my head in shame, or I could ask for forgiveness, receive it, and then try again. I could remind myself of what being faithful could mean for all of my relationships.
If I am faithful in my training, I will have more energy to play with my children during the day and with my spouse at night. (Yes, I just wrote that. May I remind you, we have four children!)
If I am faithful in my marriage, my husband will know he is valued and loved, and my children will have a firm foundation from which to grow their own families.
If I am faithful in my friendships, I will find myself in relationships where I can be honest and supportive, and I will have the opportunity to laugh and cry alongside others who know me even in my sinfulness and love me just the same.
If I am faithful in my church attendence, I will be filled with the bread of life and equipped to withstand the temptaions of this world.
If I am faithful in prayer, turning to Him will be an automatic response instead of a last resort.
And, here's where that statement really led me to sit and think for a bit...
If I am faithful in the reading of His Word, those around me will know to whom they can turn in times of trial, and I can be more prepared to give a reason for the hope that I have. My faith will be more evident, not because I'm perfect, but because I'm forgiven and thereby enabled to live a life of assurance; to live as a holy, precious, honored, and redeemed child of God. If I am faithful in the reading of His Word, I can be confident that the Holy Spirit is doing what the Holy Spirit does in strengthing me for the journey of the day and for the friends and family that I will meet along the way.
Let's pray and then you can share your thoughts.
You are the author of faith and the keeper of promises. Forgive me for the times already today when I have been an unfaithful wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Thank you for sending Jesus to redeem me, to buy me back, from this world of temptation that I am at times all too willing to welcome into my home. Help me to be faithful to your Word and to the people you have placed in my path. Strengthen me for the journey today so that I may make choices for my good and to your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Rest assured friend, though everyday we are bogged down by our unfaithfulness, the faithfulness of our God is without blemish and without question. Forgiveness and faithfulness is ours through Christ!
Live today in the freedom of His faithfulness!