Friday, November 04, 2011

5 Things I've Learnt in 10 Years of Following Christ

I've been a Christian for 10 years (read my story).

Here are just some of the things I've learnt in what has been an incredible adventure:

1.  God is big (well duh, you say).  He is bigger that we can comprehend.  He is not a genie.  He is not a butler.  He is not my grandfather.  He is King, Creator, Lord, Judge, Lion, yet also Saviour, Father, Lamb, Counsellor, Brother and Friend.  He cannot be put in a box.  He can do more than we can ask or imagine.  I will never understand everything about Him.  He has chosen to keep some things about Himself from us.  Yet He has also revealed Himself so that we can trust Him.  Some days I'm content not knowing everything about God.  Other days I just want to ask Him what on earth He is DOING?

2.  God is all about waiting.  I'm not.  He has control of time.  He knows and sees all from beginning to end.  Everything happens in His timing.  Moses was 80 before God called him to rescue the Israelites from Egypt.  This makes me impatient.  I get frustrated at myself to change.  I get frustrated at other people to change.  But things happen in God's time and not ours.  He is in no rush.  Sometimes in hindsight we can see why God allows things to happen.  Other times we will never know this side of heaven.  It's a constant choice to remember that God is good.

3.  People have been angry that I have become a Christian.  More so, my family have been angry that I've become a Christian, particularly my Mum.  This has got nothing to do with preaching or Bible bashing - they just don't like that I believe something different to them.  Jesus was right when He said that the world would hate Christians for following Him.  Most people are ok with 'nominal Christianity' - ticking Christian or Catholic on the Census form, sending your kids to a Christian school, church attendance at Christmas and Easter - but not when it affects lives in any real way.  The message of the cross is offensive because it pricks at human pride.

4.  People will disappoint us.  I look back and remember people who were pivotal in introducing me to Christ.  Now they have fallen away.  Some deny they ever really believed.  This is terribly discouraging and heartbreaking.  It's easy to think that if these 'super Christians' failed then how will I be able to keep going?  But there is no such thing as a 'super Christian'.  We are all susceptible to falling.  We are all reliant on God for each breath.  Sometimes it seems for every person who decides to follow Christ, there will be one who drops out of the race.  Churches will disappoint.  Fellow Christians will be apathetic.  I believe that somehow we need to balance this reality with the responsibility of the church to love others.  If you've been turned off Jesus because of His people's hypocrisy, please reconsider.  This does not excuse really bad behaviour from Christians, but fix your eyes upon Jesus.  Find out about HIM!

5.  The cross is where justice and mercy meet. In the person of Jesus, God took the punishment humanity deserved for rebelling against His good rule over us. Grace is one of the most perplexing concepts ever. Somedays I think I understand it and other days I don't. But when I reflect on it, I feel the most incredible peace and joy. There will always be hardships in this life, but I have great hope because of what Jesus has done and I know where I am going.


Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing that, very inspiring!

Meredith said...

Thanks for this post. It's full of peace, joy, wonder, truth and growth. Thanking God for His work in and through you.

"I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Phil 1: 4-6

Sarah said...

Thanks lovely ladies.

Meredith, I was planning on posting Phil 1:6 on Monday. There are no coincidences with God :)