Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
We are all confronted by questions that challenge who we are, what we have done and what we plan to do. In the book, Not Sure, A Pastors Journey from Faith to Doubt, John Suk shares the struggles of his journey and vocation. The stimulus for his deep distress are both the challenges of suffering and the failures of belief systems that have not kept promises of progress. His story is similar to Barbara Brown Taylors report, Leaving Church, A Memoir of Faith. Both are important voices of faith in a complicated world of change within and outside the church.
What resonates in my life is that despite our reflection and study, relief comes both in patience and actions...Patience in that quick answers are frequently incomplete and actions that build a new direction not a destination. The “crisis of compassion” or “crises of faith” are examples of those difficult times that move us. It is a common event of lives in transition. It is a time of making peace with the realities.
This healing peace does not leave us sitting! Both authors end their books not with a spirit of loss, but with new directions. These are lessons for all of us...a peace that transcends all understanding; a healing peace.
Thanks be to God for kept promises and moving us from thinking to action.