As long as I live there will be something worth fighting for, worth writing for, and worth dying for.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lived Out Loud

Just a matter of hours ago, I read a eulogy of a man on a friend's Facebook page. She wrote of his faith and of his drive to draw people toward Christ. At first read, it sounded like he was some sort of cancer patient. One of those people that just knows his time is short. I've known a few people like that, and assumed he was one of them.

I was wrong.

This young man, not even 24 years old, had plans for this past weekend. I have found and read through eulogy upon eulogy about him, trying to piece together who he was and his last moments here. I visited his Facebook, which is open to the public and saw a post from Friday afternoon about how he was going out with friends to a triathalon and was inviting others to come. I read a note from a friend who was with him Friday, just hours before his life changed forever. I just received an e-mail from one of his close friends, who I happen to know from college (it's a small world after all). This is what it said:

I just graduated from Grace College this past Saturday (the 8th) and that was the last time I saw {him}, he drove from Grand Rapids to my graduation in Indiana, then right back to MI for his brothers graduation from Hillsdale. My open house was Sunday afternoon at the parsonage that belongs to my home church in MI, I used to live there, but now the youth pastor does, and {he} had been renting a room in the house. He had posted on the wall for the event (for my open house) "I probably won't show up, but I'll be there".... a joke on the fact that he lived there, but boy oh boy did that turn out to be true or what...

He had plans. Plans that did not involve losing his life. Still, the faith he lived his life with was vibrant. It reflected a constant awareness of the weight of eternity.

On Friday night, hours after his last post on Facebook, his last Frisbee match with friends, this young man was involved in a serious bicycling accident that caused severe head trauma. On Monday evening, he met his Saviour face to face, and though I have never met the young man, it is clear to me that he received a hearty, "Well done, my child, enter into the glory of the Lord."

We just don't know. If we knew today would be our last, what would we do? Would we live our faith out loud? Many do, and that's why I thought, at first glance, that this man had resigned himself to death. That wasn't the case. This man had resigned himself to Christ, and lived every day as if that day he would have to answer to his Saviour.

Can we say the same?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How Silent is Faith?

Faith is such a tricky thing to try and navigate at times. We have such a variety of examples of faith in the Bible that it can be very difficult to figure out what faith truly is and how it is supposed to flesh out in our lives.

A college professor of mine once stood for abortion (yes, at a Bible college of all things). His reasoning was that if the baby would harm the mother then the mother's act of faith was to abort the baby...
We didn't get it either. In fact, we, as a class, loudly protested saying that faith would do nothing. He began to pull Biblical examples of faith being actions not stillness. By the end of class, we were thouroughly frustrated and confused, all trying to figure out this new faith we had just been presented with.

Here's my take on it. Faith is shown to other men through our works. That is what James is all about. Faith to God is shown through our belief in Him, which is what the Gospel is all about.

Going back to the abortion debate. In the eyes of men, is there faith involved in fear? No. If I abort my unborn child because I am concerned that he or she may take my life, is that faith? Personally, I don't think so.

My professor would say, "What if there were children at home? It would be selfish to die for the sake of one." Would it? Isn't that what Christ did? Offered Himself for the sake of one? Even if only one person had come to Christ, woudl that have been enough? Yes, I believe so. I just struggle with this logic of taking matters into our own hands and then with our mouths confessing to be depending on God.

However, faith does not sit at home and do nothing either. For instance, if God calls you to be a medical missionary, you just can't sit around and expect a medical mission board to walk up to you and say, "Hey! Would you like to join our team? We know you haven't had any schooling, but figure we can train you." Does that make sense? No!

If God calls you to be a medical missionary, then your act of faith is to go to school, get your degree and begin pursuing positions as a medical missionary. The key is to trust every step to Him, and that's where Proverbs 3:5-6 come in. Sometimes our steps do not make human sense. God sense is really the only sense that matters.

This is all something I have been muttling through as I try to determine God's next step for me. I know it now, but there is this hesitation. I know the end objective, I just haven't figured out the process at this point. Does faith just sit back and wait for God to move or does it gently knock on the door and say, "Alright, God, if this is it, I will walk through. If not, I will wait for You to show me where I am going." Is that still faith? To pursue what you believe to be the place where God is taking you? Can you be a medical missionary without first becoming something medical??

Not that I am planning on becoming a medical missionary. It's just musing, trying to figure out where God begins and my strength is of none effect. At what point does God say, "Ok, hands off!"? Interesting thought, isn't it...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Light in Dark Places

Today the sun is shining brightly. I walked out the door this morning into a balmy and beautiful 70 degree day. It's beautiful. Perfect, even (well, not really). Still, the reality is sinking in more and more that we live in a dark world.

At this very moment, across the room from me, a friend of mine is getting ready to enter the lions den. She is taking a Danielesque stand for her Saviour and the opportunity gives me goosebumps. To think it all started with a paper.

She is taking classes at a local college. A local secular college. For further clarification, this is a local secular college outside of DC. Meaning that this college isn't just tolerant, it is a forceful tolerant- pushing and teaching that students should believe in evolution. Pushing and teaching that students should be tolerant of homosexuality. It is an actively secular college.

It is for an English class at this actively secular college that she wrote a paper expounding how nature proves (yes, proves) that there has to be a Creator. Already, she has taken heat for it. After announcing her topic, she was e-mailed by her professor. He had provided a link to a video "proving" evolution. She was unscathed and pushed on. She turned in the paper last week, but the beautiful thing is that her paper is not an anti-evolution paper as much as it is a pro-Creator paper (not to be confused with procreation). She presented the facts found in nature and left the reader to decide. It was a beautiful paper, and I'm sure her Father was proud.

In fact, I'm positive He is. Today, in just hours, she will stand before a body of her actively secular classmates and point them all to her Creator through creation. What an opportunity! What a thrill!

It made me think of how often we forget to shine. Instead of being a light to light the way to Christ, we become an interrogation lamp blinding those who would seek Him. She did not get in anyone's face. In a simple and honest fashion she presented her Saviour in the way He chose to present Himself to us (through nature). Now, He has given her more room to shine. He has given her an audience before which she can stand and say, "Let me introduce you to my God."

We live in a dark dark world. A world desparately in need of hope. If we are willing to shine, willing to glow, He will, without a doubt, use us to show Himself.