A Living Testimony

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In eternity past
Before God formed this world
He planned for two hearts to become one
Their love for Christ
The Solid Rock foundation for their lives
Desire to honor and glorify the Lord
Unwavering trust
In both good times and bad
God is praised
Not only with their lips
But with their very lives
When trouble’s strong winds began to blow
Waves threatened to swamp them
They clung to Christ all the more
Their hope in Him could not be quenched
Though pain and suffering threatened to extinguish the flame
Hope’s light burned brighter in the darkness
Like Paul they believe
Our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared
To the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ
This present life is passing away
It’s only when we die, that a Christian will be truly home
Until that time
Eyes focused on Christ
Hearts fully committed
Trust in the unfailing source of their strength
For each day, Christ is walking with them
Their young lives, a living testimony
To Christ their Savior and God
He alone is their hope
The proof and evidence of the resurrection to come
Of life everlasting, without end

For Tyler and Mariah

by Susan Wachtel
September 3, 2016

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Trust

A recent conversation about trust got me to thinking.  In practical terms what does trust mean?  What does trust look like being lived out in my everyday life?
 
I often respond to be people through the framework of my past…both good and bad experiences, healthy and unhealthy.  That may cause me to unfairly evaluate a person’s actions and attribute motives that they may not have.   

I believe that trust can begin with the character of the person in whom I trust. 
 
Here are some of the characteristics that may influence me to trust.  When I believe someone is basically good and has good and kind intentions towards me.  When they don’t seem to have a hidden agenda that influences their actions or words.  When a person is open and transparent.  When they are quick to apologize if they’ve done wrong or said something unkind.  If they take ownership of their words, action, attitudes and choices…and don’t play the blame game.  Someone whose mood and actions are not easily influenced when things aren’t going their way.  When they are consistent in words and deeds.  Someone who is humble, teachable and growing in grace and wisdom. 
 
With that said…people are flawed, sinful and may not always act in a way that evokes trust.  What am I to do, how should I respond?  How does trust grow relationships with two people who are growing, changing and are a work in progress?  I’m not sure I have the answer to that question.  Perhaps it’s something for me to contemplate and bring before the Lord.
 
When I look at the attributes of someone who is trustworthy…God is so far beyond anything on that list.  From His word and from His present and active work in my life…I can know with certainty that He is good and only has good intentions for me.
 
So why is it that sometimes I don’t trust God? 
 
For one thing…often I see people…including God through lenses that have been shattered by life and people that are sinful.  God may allow things in my life that are painful and difficult.  God may answer some of my prayers with a resounding “No” or I may only hear silence.  In my humanity…it may be difficult for me to see that God truly is working things out for good for me.  The good that God is working out may only be manifest in heaven…not here on earth.  He may be allowing pain with the purpose of growing me or causing me to depend on Him. 
 
As I grow in my knowledge of God and who He is…my trust in Him will grow.  When I choose to believe His word over my feelings and circumstances…my trust will remain steadfast.  If I believe that God is good and working out everything for good…I can trust Him and the work He is doing even in the midst of difficult circumstances.  When I have an ongoing relationship with God…I can come to Him and ask for wisdom and discernment when dealing with people.  When I am willing to bring God my wounds and let Him bring healing…I can learn to trust people and see how my past has colored my vision. 
 

Scars & Wounds

Scars deeply embedded
Wounds left over from childhood
Seemingly dead and buried
Make themselves known
Affecting relationships even today

What I hear
Is much different than what was said
Unable to differentiate
What was intended
Verses what was felt

At any hint
Of irritation, anger or disappointment
I find my defenses mount up
Emotions shut down
Now I don’t have to feel or risk being hurt

Trying and stay ahead
Anticipate each move
Feeling justified
In my inability to trust
Will I ever feel loved?

Will I turn to Him
The One who binds my wounds
The Healer of my soul
Only He can set this prisoner free
Will I allow Him to show me how to trust again

Will I let the One
Who taught the angels to sing
To fill my heart and mouth
With songs of praise
How long until I sing the song of freedom

By Susan Bunts
July 23, 2008

5/19/07 At the End of the Day…Visible Faith

I have a few people in my life that I genuinely admire. People whom have qualities or whose character truly stands out.

What stands out about one such person…is her faith. It comes out…not just in her words…which are quite eloquent…but in how she lives her life. What she does, what she says…and how she treats people. It’s also quite visible when I look at how she approaches God…understands Him…how she loves Him and how she shares that love with others.

She is ever so humble…and would be quite embarrassed if I were to reveal her name. She would protest…and immediately give all praise to her Savior Christ Jesus. Indeed…he has transformed this woman into a most gracious example of His love.

One thing that is apparent is her peace. No matter the circumstance…she carries that peace. Peace which passes all understanding is deep within her. The peace she has is not based on circumstances going her way…happening within her time frame…or because she has been blessed with perfect health or finances. Instead it’s an implicit trust in her Savior…in His character and His word.

It’s truly something to behold. When her prayer ends with “Thy will be done”…it’s not just for show or a closing to a prayer. She doesn’t hesitate to pray exactly for what is seemingly needed. Yet…she humbly submits all things to God’s will. She has a boldness and confidence in her prayers to God…yet she knows He will never answer anything that is against His will. She is quite willing to relinquish the controls over to Jesus.

Her prayers give evidence that she truly believes the Bible when it states…that God works all things together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes. Knowing that even the direst of circumstances are not beyond God’s redeeming power.

Her sight is not on her circumstances. She does not waver because she is centered on Christ Jesus. It reminds me of a tiny sparrow tucked safely in her nest in the cleft of a rock…as a storm wails and unleashes its flurry around her…she remains safe, warm and dry.

Seeing such faith lived out…not just for show on Sunday…but in everyday life…is truly something to behold. Indeed she is tucked safely in the cleft of the Rock…the King of kings and Lord of lords.

I find it challenges me in my faith to come up higher. When I see someone demonstrating such faith…and see the faithfulness of God…I desire to have that kind of living and visible faith. It also makes me realized how impacting our faith or lack thereof can be on others. That ought to make me tremble with a healthy fear.


“Fear of the Lord…is the beginning of wisdom.” – Proverbs 1:7

Walk the Talk

There once was a time,
When I trusted you,
Took you at your word.

But that was before,
Circumstances and trials revealed,
That this time you didn’t walk the talk.


Respect was once earned,
Your character seemed proven and true,
Then a whirlwind disrupted my faith.


Did I expect too much?
Did I measure this man…
Against an impossible standard?


How do I move beyond doubt?
Once again trust,
One not perfect, but oh so very good?


How do I work my way back?
How do I restore my trust,
In a man that is very human…flawed?


Forgiveness is the order of the day,
My first step,
Walking in the path of Christ’s love.


by Susan Bunts 4/28/07