Years ago, a Seminarian went on a month long pilgrimage. He took no money with him as he wanted to know the true feeling of having to beg for his food and lodging. It was an exercise in faith and putting his entire trust in God.
He stated, afterwards that, "Many a night, I experienced near panic at not yet having found, a place to stay or a meal to eat."
Even the disciples experienced this, a similar panic attack, even though, they had seen Jesus feed the crowd's with next to nothing, right in front of their very eyes.
I do not take comfort in their panic but I do understand their, what I will call, "Nature of Man." With their own two eyes, they witnessed, first hand, the miracles of Christ, yet time after time, they were filled with fear or trepidation.
This comforts me only because I realize that it is that nature of man, to be the "Doubting Thomas," and while I don't understand that nature, I too have experienced it.
I have seen miracles. I have seen my own life, with God's stamp upon it, change for the better. Good things, unexplainable things, have happened to me, yet I continue to question, my own faith.At the same time, my faith grows daily and I pray for faith or the wisdom to understand it, to utilize it.
Don't we all experience a falter in faith from time to time. We worry about things, we question things and we forget to pray instead of worry.
I think this blog serves as a reminder to me, that I serve an awesome God. I am reminded from the story of the Seminarian, that there have been times, when I have been in that panic; worrying, wondering, will I be sheltered and clothed, fed and tended?
As I look back, upon my 48 years of life, I have been so close to having nothing. I have lived in my car, I have wondered where my next meal was coming from and I have felt stuck. Even in and at my worst, He never let me starve. I never ran naked in the streets because I had no clothes. I always had some shelter from the elements. I also see, that often times, I did not pray to Him for help but he watched over me. Just as Job was tested, so was I. I've known my Lord, since I was very little. My faith was huge and I do believe that Satan knew this and went after me. I had lived a charmed life, as far as worldly and material things go. I didn't appreciate those things and often had a sense of entitlement. I had been handed so much but I was surely a brat.
Then, I was crippled and covered in sickness, scabs on my skin. I was so broken, literally and became and began my addiction. It was all consuming, all I thought about. It took me to the brink of death and left me there to die. But I did not ever rebuke my Lord. I was certainly tested, about as seriously as you can be tested. During my addiction, I had turned God and my conscience off. I did not pray but stewed in my own feces. I was not a nice person, no quite the contrary and I look back at some of the things I'd done and see a different person. I was evil and my heart became black. But I did not forsake my God, I'd just chose to turn him off.
I believe, He was there, the entire time. He allowed Satan to have his way with me, until I was like a rag doll, tossed to the side, abandoned, torn, dirty, empty eyed. He gave me that little bit of hope, His Spirit stirred me and I cried out to Him. I'd finally turned back on the switch, long enough to make a soulful cry, that had to have been heard in the very depths of hell. Satan was so happy to hear my cries but when I began to cry out to my Lord for help, I'm sure he was not pleased. He just wanted me to be in turmoil, sick and used up.
God delivered me and put me in Prison. I am so grateful, that I can see all this. I am grateful for these scars upon my body. It has all filled my faith well, it is over flowing and I know He is there and always has been. Even though I did not deserve it, like a good Father, he knew I was the type of child that had to learn things the hard way. But I'm also the type of child who uses what I have learned and hopefully, it will help someone else, in their struggle.
Every time the wind blows through my black, graying hair, I am reminded of my Lord. I can not see Him but I can sure feel him. I am so grateful, he did not let Satan kill me and I am grateful that I learned from all this.
What are you grateful for?