I have memories of the day that I made the transition from being a senior student in a small primary school to being a newcomer in a large public high school. As I walked through those gates I stood in awe at the size of the senior students that attended the high school. I felt really small and insignificant. Four years later I was one of the senior students, but I faced another transition, this time into college; and the final year students in college seemed so clever and wise and I really looked up to them!
I have come to the conclusion that life is like this. There is always another step to climb, another milestone to reach. Often we end up spending a large amount of time and effort feeling inferior to others, or fighting guilt and shame about the traumas of the past.
Today we are praying for deeper faith. There is a danger that even a life-giving gift like faith can become an oppressive power in our life if we become too obsessed with what could have been, or what might be in the future.
I would suggest that we find ourselves best equipped to develop a deeper faith when we learn to abide in Christ right where we are now. Can we experience the certain knowledge that Christ loves us exactly where we are in life right now. Christ rejoices in us, loves us, cares for us in this very moment. If we can feel this love, and accept it for what it is regardless of our past failures or our as yet unreached future potential, we are in all likelihood in the best position to grow in our faith. That realisation on its own will unlock the growth that God has prepared for us.
Perhaps we will look back a few years down the line to this moment in time, and wonder how it came to be that we changed so much without even realising it. Take some time today to rest in the experience of God's presence in your life. It is the first step to deeper faith.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to
help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
[Weiers Coetser - Pastor of the Banbridge and Larne congregations in Northern Ireland]