Sunday, November 23, 2014

In the Presence of Faith

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38,  NLT).

Today I spent some time with a brother who has so recently been through the darkest of times. Probably twenty years my junior, with a daughter in her early twenties, he sat with his wife for five weeks as she lay in a coma. And then he said good bye to his precious life partner.

As I sought to encourage him, I found I was the one being encouraged, but that hardly describes it. I am not sure I have ever talked with anyone who more embodied the faith that is described in this passage. I had no sense of one who was trying to have this confidence, though that would have been quite fine, but instead there was this quiet conviction that these words from Paul are absolutely true.

I would not want anyone to think he is in denial. His grief is real and it hits him hard in periodic waves, but he constantly feels that the love of God has carried him and is carrying him through it. And I am sure that he would like it to be said just that way. He does not feel that there is something he is “doing,” but that there is something Jesus is doing and that he is being cared for.

I serve as a teacher, and I pray God can use me in that role, but often I am the student, and today my younger brother was my instructor. I am grateful. I hope you can learn with me that God really can fill us with this kind of faith and it is amazing.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me think of my mom who passed in 2010. My minister spoke of her passing as something that changed his life. He spoke of how her readiness to see her Maker is something he had never experienced before in his 20 some odd years of discipleship. So you are right Tom when you say that God can certainly fill us with the kind of faith Paul is describing in this passage. And I think of my own fears of losing her, but the faith of knowing she was in Christ and now is awaiting the resurrection gives me a peace I cannot describe and it makes her loss so much more palatable. Praise be to God, we don't grieve the way the world does.