It wasn’t always so.
Sustaining – How do you keep going? What sustains you in your relationship with Jesus? On cold days and weeks and months when you are cold and hungry and thirsty, what feeds you?These are the questions posed for this week’s discussion. At first the questions troubled me. If I only read the first question, the answer is easy – Jesus! He is the One who keeps me going. Then I read the second question and at first I drew a blank – mostly because He was the answer to the first question. My answer to the third question is the same as the first – Jesus! He feeds me, warms me and quenches my thirst.
But it wasn’t always so. The longer I have thought about the questions, the more I realized that there was a time when I wondered if I could hold on to faith. It was in those early days of faith – I had been raised in church all my life but those first days, months and even years of testing MY faith, I wondered…is this worth it?
I would try to live faithfully and fail – serving God as if he was a bit of a tyrant always looking for ways to “get me” and punish me for a wrong thought, a mean word or some other misstep.
Yet there was something about Him that continued to draw. Each time I failed, even though there was this fear of punishment, He still drew me. In time, I learned that He wasn’t out to “get me” but to have a relationship with me. I began to realize that any spiritual discomfort was not from punishment but from pulling away and keeping a distance from Him.
There came a time – and I’m not sure when or how – I found Him to be my refuge and strength. Instead of looking for ways to sustain my faith or to sustain my relationship with Him, I was seeking Him to sustain me in marriage, in ministry, in times of grief and in times of great challenge.
When there are places – relationships, ministries, etc – that are cold, lacking in some way, I find myself retreating to the only One who can bring sustenance to any of those. I retreat to the place of prayer – read Scriptures and wait on Him. He comes and I am renewed.