Chris·tian [kris-chuhn] – adjective
1. A person who makes major life decisions based on things they cannot see and believes in a God who cannot be proven to exist.
2. A weak person, who needs faith as a crutch to get them through life.
3. A person who doesn’t want to stand on his/her own two feet and be independent.
Not every one will agree with that. But I’d say it’s a pretty accurate description of me.
Okay, I admit it, if I didn’t have God in my life, I’d be in the gutter. I am just too weak to make it on my own. Frankly, I need God like I need oxygen. Admittedly it’s possible that I made him up and that I’ll get a nasty shock when I kick the bucket. But if believing in something that could turn out to be a figment of my imagination is what I need to get through life, then that’s a risk I’m more than happy to take. I mean, if a kid has an imaginary friend who helps her when she’s scared of the dark, I say fine, go along with it and keep up the pretence.
Growing up I’d say my self esteem was pretty low. Aged 18 I found it really hard to go out into the “real world” away from the security of home. Call me a sensitive soul, but I had this basic human need to make sense of the vastness of life, the universe and time, and when I couldn’t, it scared me. I needed to have a framework for my life, something to help me make sense of the chaos, something to be constant through the unpredictability of the future. For a while, being in a relationship helped to take my mind off it, but when that fell apart, I felt like I was on a sinking ship in a midnight sea-storm with no land in sight. I had no idea which direction to swim nor the strength to stay afloat.
How convenient that just when I needed it the most, a life-saving ring fell in my direction and I found myself washed onto dry land. Yes, I discovered that there might possibly be a God. A God who can be known, who has a plan and who can rearrange the jumbled jigsaw pieces of my life for me so that I could have a chance at piecing them together and seeing the bigger picture.
There’s one thing we can be sure of in life – that everything will change and nothing lasts forever. Lucky for me I found out that the God of the Bible describes Himself as “unchanging” and “everlasting”, “a rock”.
Finally I found something I could hold on to. It was like stepping onto a beautiful island of shelter, nourishment and abundance as an exhausted, battered wreck, having been tossed around by the raging waves of the wild, merciless ocean.
Years later, when I was going through a serious breakdown in my marriage, these words were what picked me up off the floor and made me stay in the fight.
Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. (Psalm 18)
Without these words and my iron faith that dead things can be brought back to life, I would have let my marriage slip through my fingers, instead of being mended and restored.
So I might be weak and leaning on a crutch called God, but with Him, I feel like I could take on anything. I mean literally ANYTHING. If I think He’s told me to go into a lions den, I’ll do it. I’m like some tough mean-faced warrior woman with Jesus by my side. I’ll show that king of the jungle my game face, wield my crutch at it like a sword, and watch it lie down in fear.
Yeah, when I’m completely leaning on my crutch I’m a force to be reckoned with. Which is a pretty good job really, because on a daily basis my crutch seems to tell me to get out of my comfort zone and do something “off the wall”, something “out of the box”. Sometimes I argue with Him and say, “Er, you want me to do WHAT?” and then tell him how I had plans to wash my hair and really can’t manage that particular assignment. But with a little reflection I usually give in and agree to anything. I’ve been leaning on my crutch long enough by now to know that if he asks me to do something, the task will be full of challenges and tough times, but He’ll give me exactly what I need to do the job, and I’ll find excitement, blessing and adventure along the way.
Put it this way, I’ve NEVER regretted saying yes to my
crutch God. I’m always glad I didn’t give up on an “assignment”, even when I was sorely tempted to. The buzz I get from it is like nothing else on earth. I feel stronger for overcoming the challenges, for keeping the faith and staying faithful. Until the next assignment comes. And this time, it’s even harder. I feel weak again, I feel scared again. I try to wheadle out of it, and then I remember what happened last time I said yes and stuck it out. And so I make up my mind and say “bring it on”, with my game face in action.
It’s what I call the circle of life. Or rather the upwards spiral of life. As I journey through life limping on my crutch, I follow a path that goes round in ever increasing spirals, and the original comfort zone I started at as a young woman becomes further and further away until it’s just a speck in the distance.
I might be weak and deluded, but I intend to hobble blindly along this upwardly-spiralling path with my crutch in hand until I meet my maker and get to shake His hand. If of course He’s real. If not, well, let’s say I’ll have lived a pretty awesome adventure of a life before I turn to dust so who cares eh?