Monday, October 16, 2017

In-and-Out Faith, By Eileen Knowles

My son turned fourteen this weekend. As part of the celebration, he asked if he could have a few friends over to spend the night.  So, on Saturday night, five of his buddies from school spent the night at our house tossing the football around in the yard, eating pizza, playing PlayStation, staring at their phones as a group :-), and hitting pummeling one another with pillows. Did you know a pillow has the ability to make an unbelievably loud noise?  I didn't.  That is, not until I heard them being used as weapons and being fired rapidly out in my living room some time after midnight.

When I rolled out of bed at 5:45am, I discovered that one houseguest still had yet to go to sleep.

It was a long night at our house.

Although sleep was elusive, plenty of laughter and fun memories were made for both my son and his friends.

Early that morning, I left our guests in the care of of my husband and headed off to church to prepare for Sunday services. It would be a busy morning with multiple services, baptisms, and a membership lunch. While coffee is my close friend most every morning, I was certain we would be inseparable on this particular Sunday morning.

As I drove down I-75, my weary mind and heart prayed for extra doses of joy and strength.

It was then I heard some words on the radio that seemed to speak directly to me.

So many people live an up and down life of faith but Jesus invites us to an in and out life of faith.  

Up and down faith is based primarily on how we feel. It can change depending on our current conditions and circumstances.  It's that unpredictable roller coaster of waking up one morning with the excited "Yay...I get to serve!" attitude and then waking up the next morning with the obligatory  "Sigh...I have to serve" attitude.

Up and down faith will fluctuate because it's leaning more on external conditions rather than internal constants.

But Jesus calls us to another kind of faith journey.

"I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture." John 10:9

In and out faith is all about starting each day from inside this gate.  We start each day from this place of knowing whose we are. We start each day securely resting in the truth that in His presence we are equipped with all the strength, joy, and peace we will need out there.  And because of this, we can go out and find pasture.  When I think of pastures, I think of a peaceful, wide open space with lots of breathing room.  With Christ, it's refreshing to know that even if our circumstances aren't currently pasture-like, we can still find pasture because that's what life in Him has the ability to provide for us out there.

Come in. Got out. Find pasture.

"Acknowledge that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we are his—
his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
 For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever;
his faithfulness, through all generations." Psalm 100:3-5


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