Saturday, November 8, 2008

Can I Get A Witness?

Answered prayers are my favorite kind of stories. While I can certainly recount many situations in my own life where God’s response to a heartfelt and sometimes desperate plea for intervention has resulted in an outcome that astounds me, I also find enormous encouragement and comfort in the mighty way the Almighty intercedes on the behalf of others.

Not every prayer is answered. There are times in difficulty when one pleads and petitions the God we call Father only to have resounding silence as the response. Questions and doubts seep into quiet voids, and in those places that we don’t reveal to others our faith wavers slightly and distrust settles into a small crack of our soul.

Allowing enough of those cracks, those disappointments, to settle into the foundation of what we believe ultimately leads to a hole we try to fill with other vices. Our spiritual life resembles one of uncertainty and instability as we seek to strengthen our independence, hoping that self-reliance can somehow overcome the discouragement that comes when life knocks us to our knees. We convince ourselves momentarily that as long as it is in our control, we are protected and better prepared for what lies ahead.

That is until the next difficulty comes along.
Or the next devastating illness.
Or the suffering of a loved one.
Or the loss of a job.
Or the next betrayal.

And then we find ourselves seeking Him again.

It is a vicious rollercoaster to ride, a non-productive and stagnant approach to faith that leaves you more abandoned than fulfilled, more weary than restored. Purpose gets lost in the problems and discouragement is found in the process.

This circumstantial method of belief defined my spiritual life for most of my young adult life. During periods of blessings I proudly stood firm and unwavering on what I knew to be True. During periods of troubles, survival instincts persevered until stubborn resolve proved ineffective and lacking.

Desperate to escape the cyclical mess I had created in my spiritual life, I slowly began to accept that complete dependence on Him would bring me to the place I was always meant to be. Difficulties continued, and my future at times unknown, but God provided strength and encouragement through the stories and testimonies of other believers even as my own situation sat in a deafening quiet of uncertainty.

Each story, each witness brought heart-quenching hope that allowed me to believe with confidence that God would not forsake me, would not leave me, would never stop loving me. I listened to the narratives of others, to the joy pouring out of each individual experience and welcomed the resulting peace despite what my circumstances would suggest.

Various personal stories, answered prayers and life-changing testimonies at times have inspired me, consoled me, reassured me and strengthened me. I have created a new blog that I hope can do the same for you.

Can I Get A Witness? will be dedicated to the types of encouragements mentioned that have impacted my own life. It is my prayer that the accounts given to me or personally experienced will provide the same hope God granted me during times when there were more questions than answers, more chaos than contentment.

A hope that encourages you to embrace the untold joy to be discovered when you fully depend on Him.

4 comments:

tricia said...

just beautiful! "Can I Get A witness" will be highly successful as you share god's love-WOW!

man of constant sorrow said...

Joni-
Once again you have hit the very marrow of my bones with your encouraging words. For such a long time in my life, my belief has been gauged by what God is doing for ME in MY life...what prayers He has answered the way I felt they should be answered. When things are going MY way and all is rosy, my 'belief' in Him is strong and 'I MUST be DOING' something right. But then suddenly, life happens and it seems that unbelief just starts flooding in. This is belief based on the tangible, the visible, those things that pleases our senses. It is a rollercoaster and in the past few months, my whole perception of belief has changed. I am trying to define my spritual life by finding where God is at work and join Him there; instead of the normal situation of finding the places where you need God to fix something and ask Him to join you. I heard a minister once say that we must first seek His Face before we seek His Hands. It's not that I don't think that God will meet us in those desperate hours of need. But if we are already where He is at work, He won't have to come find us where we have wandered off.
I am looking forward to more great blogging from you.
-wifeofamanofconstantsorrow

JMom said...

I love this idea. God is really working on a lot of these same truths in my heart right now. Thanks!

laurie said...

Love it!! I still want to get together. . .