WAYS: How does your faith help you get through times of change?
Several weeks prior to finishing each issue of Interpreter, we send a question to all readers for whom we have email addresses, asking them to respond with a short answer. We hope you will join the conversation.
We asked ...
How does your faith help you get through times of change?
You said ...
Faith is not about everything turning out OK; faith is about being OK, no matter how things turn out. Roy Baldwin, Helotes Hills UMC, Helotes, Texas
When my precious, talented 16-year-old daughter, Marlee, was killed with two friends by a train on Valentine night 1992, my life and my family's was changed forever. God, church and prayer were important to us, but now there was a cannonball-size hole through my chest. Where was God now? Eventually Easter came. I always knew, in my head, about Jesus' death and God's salvation plan, but I never knew how I NEEDED it until then. Slowly I understood Easter's reality: I will see Marlee again. Jan Bretz, Tenth Avenue UMC, Hutchinson, Kansas
For my fiancé and me, we are literally going through a major life change for both of us. Our faith in God has allowed us to embrace this change with an unmistakable peace. When we pray and read the Bible together, it brings us closer to God. We literally feel his peace in our souls when we pray about our future together. God is great! Isaac Dorrel, Whitcomb UMC, Brookville, Indiana
My faith is born from Jesus Christ, the greatest agent of change in history. Jesus changed the entire focus of our faith, moving us away from the restrictions of rules and laws and encouraging us to embrace love and kindness. For me, I cannot fully embrace Christianity without the idea of changing, of evolving into someone else as my faith and my relationship with Jesus grows. Change is exciting - it keeps me growing! Mike Morrison, First UMC, Covington, Tennessee
Change is good and generally healthy in the majority of events, situations and conditions. However, we have, as United Methodists, the Wesleyan quadrilateral to entertain when change is sought. My faith has evolved out of the scriptures and the ministry of Jesus Christ and the point of view of the Apostle Paul. In some instances as the world advances, there is need for change, but there are always exceptions that should over rule that are scripturally based. Murray Nickerson, South Tamworth (New Hampshire) UMC
My faith, the hope in what is not seen, guides me during times of change and, on occasion, turmoil. Faith that all things will work to glorify God brings me assurance. (The Rev.) Cathy Partridge, Christ UMC, Princeton, Texas
When faced with potential change, listen more than you speak for it is in the listening that you will find your answers. Then pray and again listen carefully for the Lord will impress upon your heart the path to follow. But, be awake to the possibility that a path not considered is the one to be taken. Step out in faith, but know it is ok also to be a bit scared of the unknown. Rick Ramsey, Trinity UMC, Eugene, Oregon
Change we fear or do not expect is frightening. Change we expect is exciting. When I am faced with change, I count on my faith. When change is a challenge, I know God will provide the strength and guidance to negotiate the change, that Christ forgives me if I fall, and the Holy Spirit leads me safely to the other side. When change is good, my faith reminds me that I have been blessed. Paul Reinert, Trucksville (Pennsylvania) UMC
As my world changes, I turn to scripture. I know worldly things come and go but our God is forever. Hebrews 13:8 tells me Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. This gives me hope and encouragement to keep going. I then sit down and write out some plans. Karen Tate, Hinsdale (Illinois) UMC
When faith is the prism through which we observe or evaluate an issue that demands our response, then a strong faith in God will give a person "hopeful courage" to accept and live into the change. It does not mean you will be happy if the change is negative, but you will have the capacity to engage the matter and not be drowned by it. (The Rev.) John Wolfe, retired, Birmingham UMC, Canton, Georgia