Lessons along the way
Part of "A Journey to Charis"
In anticipation of the film's release, Family Life Today did a series of interviews with the producers of Courageous, Alex and Stephen Kendrick (Facing the Giants & Fireproof). During the interview, Stephen was asked, "What was the most courageous thing you've ever done." I expected him to say something like becoming a filmmaker or saving some little kids out of a burning building a la Ponyboy in The Outsiders. Instead, I was surprised at his answer.
"I went through a season of my life of depression, where I was battling with the Lord. I was so overwhelmed that I felt like the God I was serving had abandoned me. In the midst of that, I came to the place where I chose to cling to the Lord when I felt like He was my enemy. It was very difficult during that time. But my dad sent me something, and he said, 'The greatest test of faith is when you feel like God has abandoned you... will you cling to Him then?' And Job did that. He said, 'Though God slay me, yet will I trust in Him.' And when you feel like God is against you and He's turning on you, you know, we look in Scripture, and he has promised us He will never leave us or forsake us. But He will allow seasons of our lives when He is silent or He backs away. That is our test of faith. It's easy to have faith in the Lord when He's showing up and He's providing and He's involved in your life. But when you feel like He is a million miles away and he doesn't care about you, you have to cling to Him then. Jesus was so loyal to the Father, at the point of going to the cross, He said, nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done. After 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me'... a few moments later... into Thy hands I commit my Spirit. To the same one whom He felt was forsaking Him. I just tell people, when I look back, I don't know anything that was more difficult than that."I can't tell you how much I needed to hear these words. This week, my depression has been an increasingly unwelcome companion once again. I can't seem to figure out this chemistry experiment otherwise known as Linda. To hear Stephen's testimony... that battling forsaken feelings, yet trusting and having faith anyway, was the hardest and most courageous thing he'd ever done, gives me tremendous encouragement.
Because most of the time I feel like such a wimp.
But to think of it in this light... that it takes courage. That I am making the right decision to fight for faith. That this may be one of the hardest battles I will ever fight. That God still keeps His promises. That He wouldn't let me go through this test for no reason. That others have fought this battle and emerged with Jesus, victorious.
These thoughts give me a renewed hope. And help me remember what I am fighting for.
And I need that... everyday.
Thank you, Jesus, for knowing my heart and giving me this portion today.
(By the way... did anyone go out to see the movie? How was it??)