I had to flick that tiny switch on the wall this morning. The one we here in Alberta forget about for a few months, from June to August, if we're lucky - the thermostat ? that wonderful regulator of indoor temperature. We have an automatic kind. I knew it was cold this morning when I heard the furnace rumble about six a.m. I guess this means summer is over.
There have been times when I've thought controlling my spiritual temperature should be that easy. Feeling down? Say a prayer. Having doubts? Read the Bible. Struggling with sin? Just confess it to God. These are all the spiritual switches that are supposed to make a difference. They are supposed to lift us out of the doubts and struggle and give us victory in Jesus. Sometimes it's that easy. Most of the time it's not.
Most of the time our spiritual lives can seem like a plodding trudge up a very steep mountain. The path is shrouded in fog and we can't even see around the next boulder, let alone glimpse the top. We've heard God is up there somewhere and we're trying hard to find Him, but some days it just takes too much effort. And that's the true test of faith ? believing even when it's hard, believing even when we're too weary to care, believing even when none of the switches work.
How can this be possible? There's only one way to achieve it. You have to get to know the God you believe in. It is only when you know Him that you know He?ll never leave you. It's only when you know Him that you will hang onto Him even when He's silent. It's only when you know Him that you would rather die than live without Him.
There's no automatic switch for getting to know God. It takes a lifetime. The good news is that He has left his portrait everywhere. It's in a collection of letters he wrote to us called The Bible. It's in the act of kindness you witnessed yesterday and in a smile from a stranger. It's in the dedication of your doctor and the commitment of your daughter's teachers. It's in the joy of a single rose decorating an elegant table and in the persistence of a wildflower blooming through a crack in concrete. It's in the life-giving rain, and yes, even in the gently falling snow. Magnify all of these a million-fold and you will have a glimpse of Christ. God does not ask us to climb a steep mountain shrouded in fog. He asks us to open our eyes and see Him in the people and creation around us.
In Romans chapter one, verse twenty, the Apostle Paul expressed it this way ? "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities ? his eternal power and divine nature ? have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and freelance writer living in Alberta Canada. Her devotional book, The Spur of the Moment has been endorsed by Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and others. To order, and to view more of Marcia's writing, see her web site - www.vinemarc.com
Copyright Marcia Lee Laycock, 2000, 2001,2002,2003,2004