Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Letters to My Daughters: Keep Believing

Dear Daughters,

I read this on a blog recently: “In the faith-fueled race of holiness, some days you will run well and some days you will run out of steam.”

I wonder if I’ve ever warned you that this will happen. That some days you’ll be flying high in your faith, so in love with Jesus, and knowing, just knowing, that you’ll be faithful to Him forever.

And then the other days come. When it’s like putting one foot in front of the other, trudging through your faith walk like your boots are made of lead. You wonder how you got here, so little left. You’ll wonder how you’ll get out of it. Or IF you’ll get out of it, this little pit you’ve dug.

Know this, dear girls: you will run out of steam in your journey with Christ. Way back in the 16th century, a monk named St. John of the Cross talked about his “dark night of the soul”—a time in his life when he felt he was having a spiritual crisis.

Novelists have agonized over it; poets have despaired about it. Lives have been triumphant, and lives have been ruined because of each individual’s response to their own “dark night of the soul.”

Have I told you? Following Jesus is hard some days.

Why do you think Scripture addresses it so much? Both the author of Hebrews and the apostle Paul talk about our Christian walk as a race, but it’s not a sprint—it’s more like a marathon. The Bible tells us we need endurance, not just resolve.

I want to encourage you today to endure. Why?

Because He is worth it. First and foremost, following Jesus is about Jesus Himself. He is beauty and wonder and majesty and grace all wrapped into one perfect person. Make Him your life, your entire life, because He is so worth it.

Because your life depends on it. Life lived without Him is not a life, it’s an existence. Sure, you can exist here; you can make money, get married, have children, travel—all that—but not really live. Because without Jesus you have nothing. Own Him and you’ll be worth more than the finest treasure.

Because your children need you to. I know, I know, you don’t have kids. You probably won’t for a while yet. But really, not only your future is at stake here; the future of your children, whenever they come along, depends on whether you keep at it, this faith thing. Have you ever thought of that? So many times I have seen parents decide He’s not worth it—that their own lives or their own happiness is more important than Jesus, and their children suffer. Tremendously. Keep trudging because they need Him, too.

Girls, I have no simple solutions to the hard days because I have them, too. But I want you to know that life is more than following our own passions and desires. In fact, true life, a life worth living, is lived for the sake of another.

On those days when you run out of steam, keep trudging. Keep seeking. Keep praying.

Keep believing.


Other "Letters to My Daughters" in this series:

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  1. Words of wisdom to us all. It is sad, but we do "grow weary" sometimes. I know I have. He gave everything for me, and sometimes, well, sometimes I have trouble giving Him much at all. Thank God He forgives us and NEVER FORSAKES US!! Thank you for the precious reminder of this today. Bless you!

  2. Beautiful thoughts Shelly, thank you!

  3. That was beautiful, Shellhy. Thanks for sharing these letters with us, too!

  4. Such wise words here! I pass a blank journal back and forth with my daughter and this definitely needs to be in one of my next entries. Thanks!