" I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8
The title of this entry isn't too encouraging, is it? The thought of a self-professed Christian fighting to believe something so incredibly fundamental might be considered troubling to some... at times, I consider it troubling myself. I've said it countless times within the confidence of my inner circle... and I say it here for the entire world to read... It is EASY to say I believe in Jesus... four simple words that my preschooler can say forwards and backwards... but, to REALLY believe Jesus... well... that's completely different. And I believe this conflict... this glaring truth that is so evident in our society... is the bedrock of Matthew 25:31-46. And while I could sit here forever and postulate on the issue of dividing sheep and goats, it does nothing to help my unbelief.
I long to believe that the God that knows the number of hairs on my head, that has me in the palm of His hands, is the same God that parted the Red Sea for Moses, that brought Lazarus back from the dead... I guess, truth be told, I long for my statement of belief to be matched by the life I live. Because, if I'm honest, that's not always the case. I was convicted of this over and over again the past few weeks. I struggle with living in this world. I struggle to see others with the eyes of Jesus. I struggle with not having enough money to pay the bills... I struggle with trusting God to provide the money to pay those bills! I also think of those fleeting moments when God's glory was revealed. I think of a man named Charles that we met on the street. He asked for money and we offered him lunch. Ten minutes later, over a quarter pounder and fries (Charles, not me!!!!), we talked about Jesus. Then the girls and I prayed with Charles, right in the middle of downtown. One moment where what I professed with my lips and what I lived with my life... they met at a beautiful place that exemplifies His glory. I long for more moments like that.
Like so many things of late, this inevitably leads to thoughts of Providence. What is our place there? Why are we going? (Is He really going to allow us to go!!??!!) The closer we get... the more unworthy we feel. The closer we get... the more we realize that this is His deal, not ours. Believe me, we've tried to make it our deal. But, it's not. It's just one of the many ways He's continuing to show me that He is, in fact, the Alpha and the Omega... encouraging my faith. I'm also acutely aware of the ever present tension that I need in my walk with Jesus. Like the links of a bicycle chain that need just the right amount of tension in order to work properly, I also need to recognize the unyielding tension in me as I walk with Jesus though this fallen world. Like a salmon swimming up stream, always working, battling the torrents of water. If it chooses not to swim, it is simply washed away.
This world does not want me to believe that my God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That He is just as powerful now as He was when He parted the Red Sea. This world does not want me to fight to believe. It wants me to be washed away in the currents of self-indulgence and self-righteousness, cramped schedules and technology overload. And for that reason... I must fight all the harder.