Nuggets from Retreat

Where do you find your identity? Is it in your career? Your kids? Your talents? A tragic event in your life? As Christians our identity should be in Christ and what he says about us. How do we figure that out? Read and study God’s word.

The speaker at our retreat was Dr. Sheryl Giesbrecht. You can view a webpage about her at www.fromashestobeauty.com. She shared a great deal from her own life and experiences. She’s lived through some wars: drug addiction, cancer, and recently the loss of her husband.

Sheryl shared three things that God says about us: 1. We are loved! 2. We are safe! and 3. We are important! I know these things to be true in my head, and # 1 and #3 have wormed their way into my heart as well. I know that I am loved and I feel it. I know that I matter to God and I feel it.

I struggle with #2. I understand in my head that God holds us in the palm of his hand, and I know in my head that my future is secure in Christ, but I don’t know that I am “safe” in the way that many of us think of safeness. What about Job? Was he “safe”? I don’t know. Things turned out okay in the end, but Job suffered great losses, and knowing how I felt after the death of my brother, I can’t imagine that  in the end, Job just shrugged off the loss of his sons and daughters not to mention his servants and possessions. God gave him more riches and servants and children, but that doesn’t erase what Job endured.  He went through great pain and loss – more than I could handle, that’s for sure. Job held fast to his faith, but I’m not sure that he felt “safe” as he endured the trials that God allowed him to be put through.

Spiritual principles are not always so clear-cut. God is a loving God, but he is also just. He is full of grace, but he can exhibit wrath. He is forgiving and yet he judges. So, where do I go with this idea that I am safe? There are scriptures to prove it, but if I am honest, I’m not sure that I always feel safe. Of course, I can’t live my life based on my feelings, rather I must live my life based on faith and what the word of God says. Maybe someday this idea of being safe will make it from my head to my heart. Until then I speak the words of Mark 9:24. “Lord I believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”

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