Thursday, October 25, 2012

Worth Living

I'm not always sure of my salvation.

I feel like I'm supposed to be sure. But I'm not. I never have been.
It seems that no matter what I do or think or believe or say, that's there's always room for Jesus to say, 'I never knew you'.

When I admit things like this, I feel as though people quickly try to 'save' me. They try to assure me. Or else they judge me: What kind of Christian doesn't know they are saved? 

I guess I'm that kind of Christian.
I guess I'm the kind of Christian who struggles with doubt... almost all the time. Faith has never come easily to me.

I remember a communion service we had a camp this summer. It was a different sort of communion than anything I had ever participated in before...and it was good. It was more of a feast than a 'eat-your-small-cracker-and-1-oz.-of-grape-juice' type of communion. People shared the different attributes and characteristics of God that they were most thankful for and each time one was mentioned, everyone  toasted and ate and drank together. It was joyful and happy.

It was good... but it wasn't something I could personally handle at that point. I left. For as I kept hearing people stand up and confidently speak of up about all the things they were thankful for about God, I felt numb and unsure.

I found safety several feet away from the service on a picnic table and let the tears flow. A prayer that has etched itself onto my heart subconsciously flowed from my lips: I do my unbelief! Because I do believe...but I don't. Not to the fullness of which I know I could...or should. I find myself desperately pleading that He will answer that prayer. That I'll no longer have the moments of doubt that repeatedly plague me.

And then I heard this song wafting my way:
...And life is worth the living, just because He lives. 
It hit me that my anguish over my own lack of faith might not be the most important thing. As I sat there and let those words roll over me, I made a commitment. Even if I don't believe as unswervingly, as assuredly as I'm maybe supposed to....or as much as other people doesn't change the way I live. Even if I get to the gates of heaven and Jesus says, 'I never knew you', it doesn't change the way I live.

How can this be?
It became very apparent to me that I was more concerned about my own salvation than most things. That sometimes the fear of the unknown in this area was debilitating. I was more concerned with the sake of believing in Jesus because I wanted my own assurance...over simply believing in Jesus because He is. It was more about what I could gain out of this relationship, out of my obedience...and if eternal life wasn't the end goal then what was the point?

As I continue searching, digging, I continue living... I've realized that no matter the end goal, it can't change how I live. Life is worth living, just because He lives. Even if I can't always wrap my head around it, even if I don't always know what the fullness of what that means, even if I doubt... He's still worth it. Even if I get nothing out of it, even if I die and eternal life is not my reward...I've decided it's okay.

I don't know if you're a doubter like me. I don't know if you spend a lot of time wrapped up in guilt over it, or fearful that you're not truly saved. I'd encourage you to keep pressing on, keep walking faithfully...even when the faith feels absent from you. He's always proven faithful to me, even in the smallest of ways. It seems that once I let go of this obsession over whether or not I was saved, whether not I had all the right answers or was doing everything right... there was a peace that transcended. A peace in knowing that life is simply worth living, because He lives.

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