Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our faithlessness vs. God's faithfulness - a reflection on 2 Timothy 2:13 with a story about Mother Teresa.

SCRIPTURE: 2 Timothy 2:13 (TM)
If we give up on him, he does not give up - for there's no way he can be false to himself.

Mark Hatfield tells of touring Calcutta with Mother Teresa and visiting the so-called "House of Dying," where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary, where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, feeding and nursing those left by others to die, Hatfield was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers face daily. "How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?" he asked. Mother Teresa replied, "My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful."

Would it be said of all of us that we desire to be faithful above all else. Success is but a passing moment in our journey, but faithfulness is for all of eternity. No greater challenge is faced than the summons to be faithful. Nothing will try our souls more than the issues that could pull us away from doing what Christ calls us to do. Stronger individuals are known to fail when faced with life’s challenges.

If the truth would be known we will all fail him at some point in our journey. At some point we will not be found to be faithful to that task that is placed before us. At some point our spirit will become weak, our resolve lacking, our determination feeble, our commitment less than 100%, and our desire rooted in what we want than what God wishes. It is at these moments it is good to remember 2 Timothy 2:13 – even though we become faithless, he remains faithful; even when we are less than we should be, he continues to be all true … his relationship with us never changes. It is his very nature. And for his faithfulness we are forever thankful.

Our relationship with God is not determined by what we do, but who he is. It is not based on what we accomplish, but what he completed on the cross. It is not based on our talents, our personality, our abilities, our faith, but his faithfulness, his commitment, his love. Oh, the world could use thousands of Mother Teresas, but those kind of individuals come along only once in a lifetime … and yet, there is a Mother Teresa in each one of us. There is hope that we could discover in ourselves a resolve to remain faithful. There is hope if we would but rely on the Holy Spirit and trust him in wherever he leads us. There is hope …

We are thankful that our salvation is not dependent on us being faithful, gracious God. Thank you for staying true to your nature and loving us when we do not deserve to be loved. And then help us to discover the joy in being faithful. Amen.

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