Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown,
so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
The beginning. The very beginning.
Of time, of space, of man, of race.
Doesn’t matter what you really think
Or what you really believe
How it all started, or,
Because, see, here’s the thing –
Opinions are great and theories grand
Somewhere it became part of a strand
Perhaps even the most elaborate of scams
Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
Conviction of the heart is EVERYTHING
So whatever it is that you think you know
Whatever faith you want to exhale
Believe it. NO! Consume it – deeply –
Stand firm, never, ever wavering
Because it would be so sad now wouldn’t it
To truly believe and then with one book,
With one look, one wink of a different view
To have it all crumble, crash around you
Have it all taken away in the sinking sand
of firm-less faith.
~Marcell Warner Bridges
©16 May 2014
I made a mistake and it made a colossal impact on my faith.
A few years ago, in my senior year of university, I was speaking privately with one of my professors. She made a comment that not only stuck with me, but it impacted my faith and my life in a profound way.
She said, “All you’re interested in is your faith and poetry. You don’t have any other things you like to do or read about?”
I began to wonder, “Am I that one dimensional?”
And so I set out to find out what I had been missing in life.
Saved at the age of five, I grew up in a Baptist home. I fell in love with Jesus from the moment I understood that He had died in my place and I needed Him in my heart and life.
Now, let’s stop right here. This is not a bad thing. It had never been a bad thing. It should never have been one either. But at 43 years old, it became a bad thing.
I had so immersed my life in the Bible there wasn’t anything of “myself” to give. At least, that’s what she implied.
I started listening to music from when I was younger looking to see if maybe my parents had let me listen to it then, would I have liked it? I already knew I didn’t like what we would call, “secular books”; however, I began reading and writing poetry I’d never thought to engage in and overall just thought maybe I was missing some things.
All of a sudden I didn’t feel whole or complete.
Recently I was thinking about the Apostle Paul. I pondered if he ever got depressed or if he ever had second thoughts about his new life in Christ. All indications in the Bible point to a man who, after His Damascus Road conversion, so immersed himself in God, He was all Paul knew or talked about. His identity was only Christ.
Even when he prayed 3 times for God to take a condition away from him, it wasn’t that he was depressed about it, but that He prayed and asked God for healing. And when God didn’t heal Him, he said he would gladly bear it (because His strength was in Christ).
What is so wrong with having my whole identity be in Christ? What is so wrong with filtering everything I do and say through God’s word and my relationship with the Lord?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. In fact, my whole identity SHOULD be in the God who created me and His Son who saved me. When I live my life in this way, my faith is solid. All other ground I sinking sand.
As we go into this Christmas season, may we find our identity only in the little baby born in Bethlehem who grew up to die for us and save us from our sins. May we learn to live a life of thanksgiving—thanksliving—for His work in our lives.
No, it won’t be easy. But it will be oh so worth it.
From My Heart to Yours,