The gospel really does change everything. To someone who's grown up in the church, as I have, and never really known a day without being in a Christian community--whether my family, at college, or at Ridge Haven--this truth should have sunk in much sooner. Yet, somehow, I never realized until this past summer at Ridge Haven that if I truly believe the gospel, nothing about my life should be the same as it was before I encountered it. My response to all things, to every situation, every sin, every hurt, every joy, should be shot through with gospel light.
I am currently struggling with being content living at home and waitressing; each time someone asks me what I'm doing or why I'm home, etcetera, I immediately feel the burning shame of pride and judgement ignite inside me. I make some excuse, trying to make my current situation sound at least wise, if not incredibly enviable; I at least don't want them to scoff at me. If my former classmates/teachers/friend's parents judge me, think I'm doing poorly, I'll ... I'll ... what will I do? I'll keep working where I am, because I have no where else to go right now. Because this is where I am, and obviously, God has a reason for me here. He does nothing without purpose, and no other application, resume, or interview has yielded a single sprig of hope for me. So, I wait tables in my small town. And often, I'm ashamed.
Yet, why should I be ashamed? If God has brought me here, there can be no shame in trusting Him! He, Yahweh, the One who created all things, who sustains all things, who wept bitter tears when man chose himself over his God, who had immediately a rescue plan in motion for the salvation of His children, who became a man, suffered the pain of merely living in a broken and sin-wrecked world, who was condemned to death by His own creation and died. My God died. He died to rip my name out of the log-book of hell and write it in His own book, to call me His child and so change me to be like one of His family. He died to destroy death, and then He rose; now and forever more He lives. And now, I live trusting His wisdom, knowing He has promised all things for my good and His glory, and that ultimately, my true life will be in a new earth, a life free of even the thought of sin. So, with this gospel in my heart, why should I be ashamed of a menial job? A businessman is not more godly than a janitor; it is the character of my heart that matters, and not the depth of my wallet, or the size of my ego (or shine of my resume).
If I truly believe that I am the beloved daughter of my Heavenly Father, a new creation, then I can rest in this joy, this identity. The judgements (whether imagined or actual) of my acquaintances will pass away, as will this phase of life. My strengthened trust in the Lord will remain. May I always choose to trust. May I preach the gospel to myself daily.
Help my unbelief!