for Michelle

Be ready in season and out of season.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.
I have kept the faith.
{from 2 Timothy 4}

Our pastor preached on this passage this Sunday. At one point, he spoke about the verses just before this, about preaching the word, and how some times preaching the truth upsets people, and they may send you a mean email. They may accuse you of calling them out, speaking directly to them, when in fact, as a pastor, you have no clue who your message will impact in what way.

Then he moved on to the passage above. He said, "If you are in a place this morning where you are tired and feel like giving up on Christianity, keep fighting. You have to finish the race well, you have to keep the faith." (well, I am paraphrasing. I am sure what he actually said was more articulate and interesting than that)... and I felt like he was talking to me. (don't worry, no mean emails will be sent)

If you had asked me before the service that morning if I felt like giving up, I would have told you I was just fine. But as I sat there and thought about Matt's words (and I'm sorry Matt, I was stuck on that point so I tuned out for a while, but I think that's allowed), I realized, deep, deep down, a part of me does want to give up.

This fight is beating us down.
The race conditions have worsened.
I feel my faith is quiet, too quiet.
And I don't know what to do.

I told Robert yesterday that I am angry. I am angry about a lot things, more angry than I have quite possibly have ever been in my whole life. I will spare you the long list here, but it includes losing my father-in-law, feeling overwhelmed as a new parent, frustration with our own materialism and selfishness, watching a child we love die, and many other things.

Maybe I have to be angry. Maybe it's the only way I will be moved into action. Maybe it's the only way my heart will change. Maybe God is tired of my apathy.

I was thinking of it all again this morning when I pulled up my daily devotional (while pumping, of course, which also makes me angry. if you have ever pumped, you understand why)

The first two words brought me to tears:
hold fast

That was literally the title of the devotional. 
hold fast

I spent all day yesterday saying, "Lord, I don't know what to do. And I'm angry about all these things. And you are so quiet and I feel tired of waiting to listen for you."

This morning he answered me -
hold fast

It's not much. It's not concrete. But it's an answer as clear as day, so I am going to do my best to obey.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…”
- Hebrews 10:22-24


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