This World Is Not My Home
We used to sing this song at youth meetings when I was a teen. Back then it was just a song. Now that I’ve lived over three quarters of a century, it has more meaning. My journey of faith exists within my American culture, but I don’t always feel like part of it.
One meaning of my first name, Barbara, is “stranger.” During most of my life I’ve felt like I haven’t quite fit with my peers. The older I get, the more the culture changes around me, the less I seem to fit in.
This blog describes my journey of faith as I try to apply it in all areas of my life.
- What I read
- How I interact with people
- How I try to use what God has given me
- How see God’s power and glory in his creation
- How I use my mind
- How I treat my body
- How I interact with my government
- How I respond to hardships and pain
The Journey of Faith is not Always Smooth
A journey of faith is unpredictable, but God is in control. Sometimes we don’t understand where he’s leading or why he has chosen for us to walk in a certain direction. The path is often quite steep. Sometimes we can’t see how we’ll be able to move one more step.
The photo above shows a trail above the Botanical Gardens in San Luis Obispo, California. I discovered it just past the children’s part of the garden. I expected it to be a comfortable walk. Instead it was pretty scary. Loose dry seed heads covered some steep parts of the trail. They made it slippery. There was nothing to grip. But going back downhill seemed even more dangerous, so I kept climbing. The trail was also rocky. Sometimes poison oak crept onto it. I found myself praying for help as I climbed, since I had no companion but God.
This solitary hike was impulsive. I didn’t seek God’s wisdom. There was no attempt to ask a docent what to expect, either. The beginning of the trail looked easy. In spite of my foolishness, though, God answered my prayers when I was afraid and got me back safely.
God always acts with love. He knows what he’s doing even when I don’t. He knows how to bring good from even the bad things that happen in my life. I believe that if I cooperate with him, he will polish the rough places in my life. He will use adversity to refine my character if I cleave to him in love and keep trusting him.
Every Journey of Faith is Unique
Though I had no idea what I was attempting, I remembered the character of the one directing my faith journey. He knew the trail and allowed me to choose it. Though I had chosen to act foolishly and there were unpleasant consequences, he kept me from falling . He used the experience to teach me seek his wisdom before doing what seems right in my own eyes.
My struggles probably aren’t the same as yours, but we have the same promises of God to encourage us. God is faithful through every stage of life. He keeps his promises. He walks beside us. As I share my faith journey here, I hope it may encourage you as we walk toward our final and heavenly home.