We have really been enjoying reading through the New Testament in our daily devotion reading plan. I’m doing an inductive study, journaling my responses to three questions of each passage:
What does it say?
What does it mean?
How do I apply it to my life?
I am always pleased to rediscover those verses that highlight basic truths for living. We read one of those in Galatians 5. Paul was warning the church (and us!) about being enslaved by the law and the sinful nature (actually our own desires). Pursuing his ‘run the race’ theme he encourages us to stand firm and seek the freedom Christ offers. The part that spoke to me was this summary of the gospel of Jesus in V 6:
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
This echoes the consistent message I’ve received through this entire cancer journey. I keep yearning for less of this or more of that. I want to fight but sometimes all I can do and stand firm and let God do the fighting:
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
But in my quiet times with God (and some not so quiet ones) I keep hearing this same message, that through it all, the thing that matters most is staying faithful.
I shared this with one of my former students, who has been suffering from a different form of Leukemia for several years. I’ve lost count of the number of chemo cycles she has endured. She writes:
“Four treatments down and ten to go this cycle. Question of the day…..when do you say enough is enough? When do you say I am too tired to keep up this fight, especially when it feels like it really doesn’t matter whether you do or you don’t?”
Looking at her posted photo, I could see the frustration and hopelessness in her eyes. I’ve been there, though I suspect her battle is much more extensive than mine. You’ve been there too. Maybe you are there today. The phrase that catches my attention is “IT FEELS LIKE”. We can’t seem to escape our feelings. After all, the body and soul are constantly interpreting the world to us and clamoring for our attention. Our spirit, united with The Spirit interprets GOD’s reality to us, but so often is out shouted by the cries of our body and soul. The body and soul say, “It feels like it doesn’t matter.” The Spirit says, “The ONLY thing that matters is faith – expressing itself in love.”
Have you ever kept a journal of your daily walk with God? Part of that story is the accounting of your daily experiences as told in a dialog between your body, soul, spirit – and the Spirit of God who reveals guiding truth and sustaining grace and power for living a life defined by love. It is this ongoing dialog that grows and nourishes the only thing that counts:
Faith expressing itself in love.