The Study With Friends community includes a team of bloggers who bless us with authentic and honest musings about how their faith informs their life, and how life informs their faith. These blogs offer insights and advice from the heart. They are experiential. For instructional insights, visit our bible study page.
There was one school, the farthest one away, that kept coming up in her mind. She applied, got in, and so we visited St. Francis U. It was a beautiful spring day at home: sunny, warm, birds chirping. We drove up the turnpike for hours. We got off the turnpike and started driving into the mountains. It was getting colder. Off in the distance it looked like snow. We drove on. We got closer to the snow. We got farther away from civilization. We reached the campus…on top of a mountain…in the middle of nowhere…yikes!
Somehow the gardening gene seems to have escaped my genetic code. The most prevalent things in my flower beds are usually weeds. I have planted some lovely perennials, and sometimes they actually bloom. I can water and feed the plants, and pull weeds until my hands ache and my fingers crack, but with every rainfall the weeds are right back, taller and more abundant than the week before. They have no vision for the beauty the garden could offer. They follow no plan, but take root in the smallest sidewalk cracks and take over any tiny spot of soil they can find.
Having worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist in my past, I marveled at every birth. To think this new creature, so sophisticated and complex, could arise from two very simple cells that came together and started differentiating into a marvelous being just boggles my mind. I’m sorry, but I just don’t have enough faith in happenstance to believe this could occur purely by chance.
How can we effectively navigate the turbulent adjustments we see in our world, so that we are not consumed with fear and hopelessness? Can we come to live with a balance where we can be a part of our world but not be overwhelmed by its changes? I absolutely think we can. In fact, I believe we can live above the worry and concern to be channels of God’s peace.
The main issue is when we as Christians read a book and decide to make it our canon. The only book we should be doing that with is the Bible. No book, no author, no blog should have the power to rule your life like that. Reading the Bible and praying for God to give you discernment is the way to navigate dating, and the way to navigate life in general. There’s nothing wrong with reading books on this topic, but our ultimate authority is the Word.
Simon Peter had no hope of catching any fish but he obeyed the Master and was awestruck by what he witnessed. Upon Jesus filling the nets, Simon Peter sees who is on his boat and immediately falls to the knees of Jesus feeling unworthy, “go away from me!” If that’s not enough of a jolt to Simon, he is ashamed to be before “Jesus, the Lord!” And to top it off, he is convicted, “I am a sinful man!”
I thought it would be easy to find work, specifically what I want and where I want because wow, I had some accomplishments. I’m qualified for high paying positions and in “my” opinion shouldn’t have to start at the bottom. Didn’t I already do that 20 years ago?
“I hate you?” I was shocked. I had never shown this boy anything but love and respect, at least I thought. At my response he looked at me as if he were talking about the weather. “Well, you’re a Christian.”
In any situation, whether it is the death of a loved one, a dream job, looking for your soul mate or saying “see you later” to a friend, look for God. Remember that His plan will not fail you. This does not mean that His plan does not include many tears or heartache. It means that at the end of that pain, He promises us something that was worth the wait.
I had not been prepared to articulate and defend my faith, but wanted to be! I wanted to confront my doubts to find answers to my own questions and be ready to offer compelling reasons for others to believe.