KEEPING THE FAITH: Like a rock

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 02:11 PM.

Then we learn, and this learning is as absolutely necessary as youthful strength, that we really aren’t “like a rock” at all — at least not anymore. The challenges of life are indeed too big, too tough, and too much. We learn that life, like erosion, has a way of reducing the hardest stone into sand.

Admittedly, this realization might cause you to hit the booze or pills and collapse into a hopeless stupor —many past the prime of youth do exactly that. But the recognition of weakness and personal limitation, that we won’t always be “standin’ arrow straight, chargin’ from the gate, and carryin’ the weight,” is not cause for despair. It is liberation.

It is deliverance from the “try-harder-and-do-more” life. It is a release from the gladiator’s ethic of “I have to kill myself (or others) to overcome.” It is freedom from the totalitarianism of “If it’s going to be, it is up to me.” In short, it is surrender, and surrender is true faith and true life.

“If you try to hang on to your life,” Jesus said, “then you will lose it.” This “hanging on” includes personal arrogance, strength, ambitions, and our self-reliant approach to life. We learn to let these go, not because we have hopelessly given up, but because we have given over. We have exchanged our failing abilities and life for the power of God and his life.

In the end, we won’t always “stand boldly in the sun.” We retreat into the darkness. We aren’t always as “strong as we can be,” because we face things in life that are stronger than we are. Our steady hands will grow shaky and our clear, bright eyes will grow dim. But it’s all okay if we have learned to live differently, if we have learned to live a life entrusted to the Rock that is Christ.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.



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