Belief

I have been looking at these Scripture verses for a couple days now:

“…For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.

 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, NLT).

The last part of the passage reminds me of a dream that I had many years ago. It was a time in my life when I wondered if what I said that I believed about Jesus was really what I believed. People can say they believe in Jesus, but what do they believe about Him in their heart? I wondered this of myself.

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I was on a really high mountain—so high that I was surrounded by clouds. A person who was standing an arm’s length away from me asked, “Think about… isn’t it possible that Jesus will return in a space ship?” I paused before I answered. I can see that he thought I would agree with him and he started to smile. I responded, “No, I believe He will return on a cloud.” Immediately, I woke up from my sleep. I knew then that I truly believed in Jesus. Even when I was asleep, I was still “awake.”

To me, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 is referring to our mind and our heart— is what we know in our mind (protected by a helmet) aligned with what we believe in our heart (protected by armor)? Do you really believe what you say you believe?

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

The Valley

I’ve only been running/jogging for a few days now, but I’m starting to notice a pattern of when I am prone to getting tired during my run. At about 2.5 miles I start to struggle but after a couple more miles I have more energy. The up and down pattern of my workout reminded me of life in general. I think all of us have felt sadness or depression at some point in our lives. In fact, there are several accounts of sadness or even depression that is illustrated in the Bible: Hannah (1 Sam 1:10), Job (Job 7:11), and Jesus (John 11:33-35) are examples.

To me, being sad or depressed is like being in a valley—the beautiful mountains are all around and I just want to be in the midst of its beauty but I’m in the flat area—isolated and alone.

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When I am in the valley I try to think about Psalm 23: 4— “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (NLT).

Being in the valley can be a lonely place, but that’s where God works on me. I think God puts me in the valley sometimes to get my attention so that I will turn to Him. I find that I rely on Him more when I am in the valley, and when I get out of the valley I am stronger, spiritually. I don’t really like the valley, though, so I have to remember Him even when I am not in the valley—“… Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God…” (Deu 8:11), but if this is the way God wants to shape me, then I am willing to go through the valley because I know He has meant it for good and He will take me through it.

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti