I don’t know any other way to live than by faith.
I grew up with older parents who’d had three grade-schoolers during the Great Depression. Those three siblings are almost 20 years older than I.
I never knew them as traditional siblings at home. They were gone and married before my birth. Their values, priorities, and work ethic were and still are as alien to the most recent harvest of American youth as Worf to a ladies’ Lularoe party.
We were never destitute, yet the harsh lessons learned from those bleak years stuck. We wasted nothing, squeezing every bit of usefulness out of whatever God placed in our hands.
Daddy and Mother trained me to see everything we had as a blessing. That has been a guiding principle throughout my life. I never spend more time bemoaning what I don’t have than it takes me to look around and see how much God’s blessed me.
Those early life lessons – learning to make do with and be thankful for what we had – stand me in good stead now. It is to them I owe my philosophy of living “AS IF”.
When asked, “How are you?” my response is, “Blessed.” Increasingly, I’ve been adding, “. . . and grateful!”
You’re waiting for me to explain “AS IF”.
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Romans 8:37 says, “In all these things (y’know–the trouble?) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
John 20:29 says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
That means I can be sure God’s seeing exactly what I’m experiencing today, right here, right now–and that He’s right here with me, smack in the middle of whatever it is. In other words, AS IF it were already old news.
It means I’m an overwhelming winner, stomping whatever ‘trouble’ is troubling me, AS IF I’m a combat vet routinely stepping over the bodies of my fallen enemies AS IF marching on a parade ground. That’s the actual word picture Paul writes.
It means I don’t have to agonize and wait around until I see something happening. I can choose to live every day AS IF God’s already made it happen! AS IF He’s already lavishing grace and blessing on me, providing everything I need to keep growing in my Christian walk.
I could go on. Mark 9:23 says to live like a 9-year-old bouncing in the back seat knowing we’re 3 blocks from DQ at what God’s going to do next. No–I never know for sure what or how or when God’s answers arrive. I JUST KNOW THEY DO.
Hebrews 11:1 puts it out there: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” And verse 6 keeps the pedal to the mettle: “Anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
The whole point of AS IF living is that NOBODY’S LEFT OUT. Not even me.
I can whine and gripe and let my soul writhe in anguish, disgusting Facebook fans and making them unfollow me, becoming more embittered and disillusioned. I can even toss my faith overboard like a half-eaten fossilized PBJ in a baggie with “2013” marked on it I found in the sailboat cupboard. I can stomp off in a huge snit, advising everyone foolish enough to slow down and listen how God’s a Big Meanie who just doesn’t like me.
I can choose to live today thankful for every blessing I’m enjoying AS IF God and I are walking along together, chatting about stuff. In a sense, we are! I can choose to have a heart full of praise AS IF God’s always come through the fire with me, showing me yet again how infinitely creative He is at answering my calls for help. Because He has! And He will!
Of the two choices? I’m going with the latter. I find it a joyful, soul-deep satisfying way to live each day. I walk through those waking hours expecting any moment to see yet another Amazing Grace display, courtesy of the Holy Spirit. Oddly enough, I also am learning to appreciate when my scripted deadlines for His answers pass with—crickets.
The choice is mine.
It’s also yours. I know. You’re still stuck on Worf and Lularoe. Stay with me for just a minute more.
Though not for the faint of heart, I recommend faith-empowering AS IF living to you.
Now you can laugh. You’re welcome.
© D. Dean Boone, July 2017
courtesy of thecelebritycity.com