Originally posted on Facebook–January, 2010

There are times when life can be really difficult. Many times, the events of our lives don’t necessarily end with story book endings. There are just so many variables at play in this world of ours…

…sometimes, we see something that is good, but can’t accept it. We’ve been fooled so many times. We’ve made ourselves vulnerable. We’ve trusted. And we’ve been hurt…

…it becomes so inconsistent and so unexpected when things work out as we desire, that we begin to doubt anything that comes easily. We look for the catch. We assume that we’re going to be taken advantage of…we fear being gullible almost as much as we fear rejection…

…here’s the thing. Sometimes the answer in front of us is the right one. At times that answer will be what we want it to be. Other times, it won’t…

…at times, I really want to walk the path of the cynic. I have before. There is so much to doubt. No matter how much effort I make in finding the answers to my questions…there will always be questions present…always surrounding me like a soft, New England mist in the fall. In whichever direction I choose to go, I will have to take one step after another through the low-visibility fog of the future. Rarely will I be able to see more than one step in front of me…

…the fog brings within me a fear. A fear of walking past opportunities. A fear of walking in the right direction. A fear of depending on others to help guide me…

…So why not be a cynic? Why not challenge everything? Why have belief in anything?…

…because I have faith. I have hope. While I admittedly have a critical eye, I also see the beauty of things…and because I see the hidden beauty in the hearts of those I encounter, and because I can’t ignore the awe-inspiring beauty of nature…I have to believe…

…what does a cynic have to live for? What kind of satisfaction does one have by embracing doubt? Where is the joy in following one’s fear? What success will I have in trying to find answers for unanswerable questions?

I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I believe in the Holy Spirit. And yet, I still have questions about the Trinity. Ironically, my doubts only provide me the opportunity to possess faith. My fear allows me to be brave, and live boldly. My sorrows provide me an ability to experience joy. To make myself vulnerable, allows others to earn my trust. To make myself open, allows others to enter into my life.

I believe in the enemy. I believe he slowly takes the foundation of our faith away from us. And I believe that he is much too skilled a master of deception for me to see through his traps alone. I can’t say I’ve read the entire book of Leviticus, but I know that God exists. I have read the book of Genesis, but I can’t tell you what the correct interpretation of it is with absolute certainty. I have had my heart broken by friends and family numerous times, yet I still believe in the goodness of their hearts. I believe that the Holy Spirit, while I have trouble even describing what It is, provides us an opportunity to be Godly…

…People have told me that I follow a God that doesn’t exist. Yet, I see the presence of God around me every day of my life. If God wasn’t the foundation of my life…I DOUBT I would be able to make it through this world. A life without hope or love is no life at all. And I must say this…I wonder if it is possible to truly love without God. Yes, the bible says that God is love…but that isn’t why I say this…

I do not agree that love is a warm, fuzzy feeling. It is true, that one CAN love and have a warm, fuzzy feeling…but the warm fuzzy feeling…it is not love. I really believe that such feelings come from moments of satisfaction and contentment. The act of loving others can bring about such feelings, because to be loved and to have your love received is satisfying. It brings us peace. But such satisfaction will come and go as we walk through this world. It is a world where we are disconnected from our purpose. I believe that purpose is to glorify God, but we do not get to see His full glory here…only glimpses. Hence, the need for faith.

A cynic is going to always be disappointed, because the love they seek will never hold true without the God they refuse to trust or believe exists. No person can ultimately satisfy you. Maybe, you can be fooled by the devil to believe that it will. Let me know how that works out for you if you do…because the carnage I’ve seen through the years DOES make me a cynic when it comes to living a life of true contentment without the Lord.

And I already know the cynic’s response. “I’ve put my trust in God, and I’ve been disappointed.” “I don’t understand how God can allow such evil in this world” “Are you ever completely satisfied? Have you ever found ultimate contentment?”

I believe my answer to be valid, but I realize a cynic, by nature, is going to CHOOSE to discredit it. Personally, I know I don’t put all my trust in God—or I would be perfect. I wonder if anyone does. What I do know, is that when I hold onto the Lord…when I yearn for Him…I am content. I am at peace. When I see the anxieties of this world for what they are—fleeting and irrelevant—I do not fear. It is when I choose to disobey the Lord that I suffer. It is when I do not accept His Word, that I endure failure.

The beauty of God, is that He controls everything, and simultaneously allows us the opportunity to make a choice…to choose. Choose what? Choose LOVE. To love is a choice. Love can absolutely bring about warm fuzzy feelings. But if we depend on just the warm fuzzy feelings, we’ll never have the love which God talks about…

…Jesus loves us. Was it not love that led him to his death? Do you believe he experienced a warm, fuzzy feeling as his hands and feet were nailed to a cross, his lungs collapsing; gasping for his last few breaths? Love sacrifices. Love challenges evil. Love ignores rejection. Love pursues the Truth. Love breaks down barriers and finds commonalities. Love accepts as is. It is love that can bring us all into full union with our Father. And a loving faith provides the answers to all questions without….

I choose to love. I choose to believe. I choose to be in the world, but not of the world. I choose to make myself vulnerable to rejection and heartbreak. I choose to make myself available to those to whom I can be an encouragement….

I choose God. I choose Jesus. I choose the Holy Spirit…

…and I can’t imagine there really being any other choice…

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