A few weeks ago I was standing in church before participating in communion. There was a pause in the service, and due to life circumstances over the past couple of years, I found myself asking that deep place within – do I really belong to Christ? Am I really in this whole faith business for real? Have my mistakes over the past years meant Jesus was finally done with me?
And I was amazed at the emphatic response that I received and how quickly it came. The resounding voice declared “You are MINE!” Three short words. But powerful ones and the ones I needed to hear.
I keep savoring this memory from a few weeks ago. It grounds me and keeps me focused. I find myself looking at life with a newfound hope and optimism. And I have a renewed sense of confidence when I read the following verse in Romans this morning.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father! it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Romans 8:14-16, NRSV
When I’ve read this verse in the past, I’ve read it while secretly wondering – am I really a child of God? Do I really have God’s spirit living in me? Am I in this for real – or am I going to be face to face with this God I believed in my whole life and he’s going to kick me out to hell as though he doesn’t know me? I always felt uncertain about where I stood in God’s eye. And now with that “You are mine!” declaration from a few weeks ago, I have a new sense of confidence about my standing with this God. I know now that I’m daughter of this mighty King…
But, this daughter has been freaking out in the past few days. With the calling to go back to seminary, I felt it was time to leave my steady full-time job to pursue school. And, with that life change, J and I are forced to really budget and make some hard choices. To be frank, having the extra income from my job made life really comfortable for J and I. We could do just about anything that we wanted and that cushion was awesome!
And now I fear what the loss of that income means. And I’m even more afraid that I’ll just hop into another job just to have a job rather than looking for volunteer opportunities or a job that moves me into a direction that I want to go. I’ve spent a good chunk of time this week being anxious over finances and this whole volunteering/job thing.
I keep praying about it, but keeping finding myself coming back to fear. I have to keep reminding myself that God doesn’t give rocks when you’re praying for bread. And I have to keep reminding myself that God takes care of his children (though not always in the way that they have in mind).