Happy Friday! I hope it was a great week for you. If you have any fun weekend plans, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what they are!
Today's Christian Fiction Friday post is another dose of encouragement from Sandy Lindgren form my Kennedy Stern series. I always find myself encouraged when she's encouraging others!
Sandy set two muffins on Kennedy’s plate. “It’s during those times that we’re the weakest when God can show himself the most dramatically. And I’m not talking about just taking away your panic attacks, pumpkin, although if he wanted to do that, he certainly could. What I’m talking about is you having the freedom and courage to live out your life — stress, anxiety, and all — in front of others with a vulnerability and grace that can only come from above. Think about your roommate for a minute. What are her biggest reasons for hating Christianity?”
“She says the church is full of judgmental hypocrites.”
“So, she thinks that all Christians put on a mask and act phony to cover up their struggles. But you can show her how that’s not the case, how God can take someone at her weakest, at her most anxious, at her most traumatized, and how he can give her the faith to say, ‘I know that my Redeemer lives.’ That’s the message people like your roommate are hungry to hear. It’s like Carl and me when the kids were younger. When we had our fights and disagreements, don’t you think we wanted to shut the door and keep our kids from seeing us at our ugliest? But we made it a point not to do that. We didn’t want them to grow up believing the lie that marriage is easy. No, we fought in front of the kids, and things could get pretty heated at times. But we did that to teach our children that a godly couple can have their disagreements and afterwards still show love to each other, still respect one another. It’s the same thing when we’re witnessing. If our goal is to make people think that Christians never struggle, we’re just setting them up for failure. What would your roommate think if she became a Christian because she believed you had a perfect, struggle-free life and wanted that for herself? Then, when she faces trials of her own, she’d feel like God abandoned her. So instead, you show her what it means to suffer and still have hope, to go through the valley of the shadow of death but know that the good Shepherd is right there, comforting you with his rod, guiding you with his staff. That’s the kind of witness people today need to see.”
She reached out and tucked a strand of loose hair behind Kennedy’s ear. “We should never try to do God a favor by hiding our weaknesses. Don’t hide your struggles. Just ask God to use them to show others his glory. Does that make sense?”