I often find myself, like most people, consumed with everyday life. Issues at work, with family and the constraints of time and of money seemingly engage in an endless fight for opportunity to weigh upon my mind. Stress attacks from all sides and, unfortunately, often from within. In response to these assaults on my serenity and well-being, I innately and unwaveringly rely upon myself for solution. The cause, therefore, is often lost; the general has only marginal control of the troops, and his competence for strategy in battle is lacking at best. I am continually frustrated in my attempts to affect change or find resolution to the issues and stresses of my existence.
I claim to be a Christian man. I believe that God is the creator of all things, and because I believe in Him, will someday reside with Him in the kingdom of heaven. Part of belief in God is asking for His help; by relying on myself to affect change, am I denying His power in my life? My relationship with Him is based on faith; by repeatedly acting alone on my behalf, do I reveal I have no faith and therefore no relationship? Because I do not seek Him when I have need, am I being sinful? I have been in a bad place for some time; I have felt as though I am weak and unworthy to call myself a Christian.
My wife wanted our family to have our pictures taken by a professional. I resisted, because that is my nature when asked to spend money. I finally relented, because that is also my nature: to resist until my folly is made apparent or public, or both, and then relent in silent, unacknowledged defeat. We received our pictures this week, and that which has always been before me was revealed to me in dozens of captured images: I have an amazing family. My wife is beautiful; my daughters, breathtaking; and my son, a strong and handsome young man. (Thank God for recessive genes). The hand of God is apparent; His works, like Himself, are perfect, each in their own way. As I look at these photos, I play the lives of my children in my mind, and His presence and influence from infancy to adulthood is clear to me, whether or not I remembered to ask for it. I look at my wife’s face and think not only how lucky am I to have her?, but also how was I able to trick her so easily?
I have stress and worries like most people. Money, or rather the lack of it, is a never-ending source of consternation. It only took a few pictures, however, images of the briefest moments in time, to help me realize that He has blessed me far beyond wealth and for all my remaining days. To take on my worries and concerns alone is the act of an arrogant, selfish and sinful man; I hereby resolve to ask for His help in my life. Though I will fall short of His sight each day, I am forgiven through faith; His mercies are new every morning. Easter Sunday is a joyful celebration of this covenant. He is risen!