I have been to see counsellors – secular and Christian. But the one that helped me the most was my pastor. He was a man of God, and a wise counsellor. He would tell me, “It is not my job to tell you what to do. It is like you have your nose pressed up against a brick wall. All you can see is that one brick in front of you. My job is to back you up until you can see the whole wall. Then you will know what to do.” His job was to help me get a better perspective on the situation. I wish I had had more time with him. There are lots of situations that I could use a different perspective in. But he has gone on to glory already.
Perspective is important. To look at my life from the outside, I am no different than my neighbors or co-workers. I have the same stressful job, the same run down car, the same bumpy lawn and a chimney that needs thousands of dollars worth of repair. So, what is different about my life that is evidence that God is real? What has God done for me lately? He changes my perspective. I pray every time I head into work so that God will give me wisdom to do my job well and love and patience for those I work with. That is evident to those who work with me. I don’t worry about my cars or lawn, God will provide at the appropriate time. I have taken the masonry bill and laid it before the Lord asking for provision. And with all of those things going on I am still able to be generous to those God places in my path and maintain an attitude of praise – at least much of the time! Thankfully God also forgives where I fall short and I am not too proud to admit that I have failed. So what has God done for me lately? He has given me peace despite all that surrounds me. He has given me hope that my needs will be met. He has given me kindness and love for those who hate me. He has given me compassion for the hurting. And he has given me a joy that is not dependent on happy days. It comes from deep within – a result of time spent with the only One who knows me completely and loves me completely. He is my counsellor now. Those times when I get too close to the wall, He can back me up and show me a better perspective. Is knowing God all about just feeling good or does God actually intervene? Absolutely! He has performed bona-fide miracles in my life and I am trusting that He will continue to do so.
My witness to those who don’t know God, is dependent on my behaviour, not my words. Paul, throughout the New Testament tells us to have a walk worthy of our calling and to do good works. Here, in his letter to Titus he writes, “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward men appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men” (3:3-8). Following Jesus is not about adhering to a bunch of rules that, if maintained, will somehow earn me a place in heaven. My salvation is already secure. It was the moment I asked Jesus into my life. Following Jesus is about enjoying a relationship with Him. It is about knowing that I am wholly and completely loved just as I am. It is about having the confidence to walk through the fire of this life knowing that I am and will be ok since I am not alone – I am never alone. And no matter what happens, “though [you] stumble, [you] will not fall, for the Lord upholds [you] with his hand” (Ps 37: 24).