Friday, March 12, 2010

On the Road to Damascus

Recently, a relative exclaimed that they no longer
believed in God. They lost a child, and this reaction
is not unusual, and my heart breaks for both the loss
of their child, and the loss of connection to God,
out of deep grief.

I am not judging them, because, I can understand
lashing out at the universe, God, and nature for
losing someone so beloved as a child. But, I am
so sad, knowing that they no longer have any hope
or consolation, even in their sorrow.

There is a wonderful compensation of faith during
tragedy, even the loss of a loved one, in the hope
and belief that there will be reuniting when we
pass over, for all of us were born to die. In the
time when God could strengthen and lift them
up, the resentment and pain of loss compounds
the misery and hopelessness.

I sat silently, because, everyone lives inside of
their own hearts and souls. I can't brighten their
outlook with platitudes or encouragement, or
in defense of God. It is what it is.

When bad things happen, we often strike out
against God, or feel like we're being punished,
or targeted. Yet, an understanding of Scripture
can provide so much comfort in these situations.
Even when we feel as if we're being punished,
the Bible teaches that chastening is the mark
of being loved by God, like a Father to his

Faith is not transferable. This is hard for believers
to accept, especially when we love our family
and friends who think we're crazy, deceived,
or living in a fantasy with Jesus. They can
be vicious about it, too, and all too cruel,
but, our response is to understand where they
are coming from, not to judge, and not to
correct them, at that time, in a way that
would further alenate them from us, or

While we are commissioned to spread the
Gospel, we are told not to belabor the
Good News. When the light of Christ is
not well-received by our presence, we are
told to leave them alone.

Faith is the most personal aspect of our
psyche or soul. I've witnessed many of
my friends, or relatives, who mocked
and criticized me for my faith, only to
embrace the LORD later in their own
lives, when the Lord turns on the lights.

It's difficult to maintain our enthusiasm
without driving people in our family, or
our friends and acquaintances nuts. But,
it's imperative that we learn moderation
when dispensing the Gospel to those
who inform us that they don't believe.

SOmetimes, they become so abusive, that
we need to break off from them, but, not
in judgment, only love, praying that they
will one day understand.

So many will mock us, but, they mocked the
Lord Jesus. Many will show their hatred of
us through cruel and blackhearted jibes, but,
it's sometimes their own fears speaking. If
they're not ready to confront their own
mortality and relationship with God, then,
Christians are a reminder of something
missing in their lives.

I was like these people once upon a time,
and I remember my irritation at preachy
Christians. I actually hated them, too.
Just like Paul, it takes the bright and
overwhelming light to break through the
darkness, and we need to experience it
firsthand. You can't make other people
believe what you believe. You can only
pray they find themselves on the
Road to Damascus..

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