By Vrenelli Artieda
You may be familiar with the term, "Covid-19". This word has dominated many conversations and aspects of life over the past quarter of 2020. I don’t want to give COVID more attention than necessary but rather, I’d like to share what the Lord has been doing in my life during this strange time. On numerous occasions I’ve been asked, “What do you think the Lord is teaching you, Vrenelli?” I’m thankful for questions like this because they cause me to pause, reflect and ponder (and isn’t that every busy parent’s dream!) The simplistic answer is, the Lord is strengthening my faith. The other honest answer is, some lessons I have yet to learn! And I am totally at peace with this knowing the Lord is still working on me. But I digress, haha! Back to faith.
While there is a monumental body of truth about faith in the Bible, I’d like to demonstrate just two crucial lessons I’ve learned.
"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." James 1:3 KJV
Have you ever noticed how the Lord can use experiences to effectively get our attention? I am a mother of young children including one with special needs. Despite the seeming chaos of the everyday, admittedly, I have fooled myself to believe that I can rely on my own strength and the lessons I have learned to get me through. At one point I wasn’t asking the Lord to work on my faith. Sadly, I was getting comfortable.
Enter 2020. Enter COVID-19.
As we were thrust into a new way of life, my perspective was tainted as the control that I erroneously desired was completely and utterly thrown to the wind. Alas! I was uncomfortable. And that’s putting it mildly.
As the Lord beckoned me to commune with Him more, I learned that every encounter and each situation down to the finest detail, is superintended by my God. Nothing gets passed Him. His wisdom is infinitely deep and His ways are governed by His amazing love. God is in it all - all of it. I began to understand that He was working on my faith. Faith to completely trust in Him and His perfect will. Faith to seek Him and obey what He has called me to do.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6 KJV
Some things in the Bible are emphatically clear. We can see clearly in His Word and we also know that as created beings, we are to bring pleasure to our Maker (Revelation 4:11). In actual fact, our whole duty is to bring praise and glory to Him! When I am grounded in my faith in God, my life as a vessel is fit and ready for His use.
During isolation, I felt very guilty. I felt inadequate to complete the mountain of tasks that were to be done within the confines of home, and home alone. Implicit in this self-imposed guilt is pride or a focus on self. No longer was I looking to my omnipotent God. No longer was I resting in Him. My lack of faith prevented His work in my life so I wasn’t pleasing Him.
Despite my shortcomings, I could truly sense the Lord’s presence and his invitation to come to Him and find rest. I’ve heard it preached at TNS that faith starts when we come to the end of ourselves! How true that statement is! I don’t claim to have it figured out but I can proclaim the power of God in my life. Time and time again he has proven Himself and just like the psalmist, I will praise God for his wondrous works.
"I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works." Psalm 145:5 KJV
As the Lord continues to work on my faith and in my life, my prayer and desire is to grow deeper in my relationship with Him. There is great joy to be the Lord’s child. I’m so thankful to be His and continue on my journey of faith.
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" 1 Peter 1:7 KJV