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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eternity (03/10/11)

TITLE: Faithlessness: An Eternal Point of View
By Kate Oliver Webb


One of my favorite old hymns is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” and I catch myself singing it often--loudly, humming, softly just under my breath--all three verses.

Usually, by the time I reach the end of the hymn, I am struck again by the fact that now and again, God and I are poles apart in the “faithfulness” department.

Over the last couple of months, for example, I’ve allowed myself to become distracted by an issue that took me on a direct path out of the will of God. Let me explain--although doing so will reveal more of myself than I like to.

Following my divorce from a very abusive and unfaithful (but Christian) man, with whom I had lived and served the Lord for over 30 years, I had determined that in no way would I ever wish to share my life again, believing that I would be unable to fully trust another man, and also relishing my newfound freedom.

But then, after 9 years of living single, I began to get an itch to find a companion, a mate. And so, to my own chagrin, I joined a Christian dating site on the Internet. I was surprised to find that I had quite a few responses (not bragging here--the world is full of lonely people), from some seemingly earnest and realistic candidates. There were also a few sleazy characters, which was a shock to find on a Christian site (although I should never be surprised at the human condition).

This, then, is the confession: I became hooked on the attention, the earnest (even spiritual) communication I was having with a couple of the more viable hopefuls. The instant messaging became serious declarations of affection and future possibilities.

I knew, but ignored, the obvious: I had not yet even met these men, did not know whether they were who they declared themselves to be. I was just enthralled with the idea of romance.

There ensued a spiritual battle I had never known before. I wept; I pleaded with God; I raged at the injustices I’d suffered in the past; I cursed the very desire that was urging me to reach for satisfaction of some kind, any kind.

Not to get too clinical--I’ll stop before I begin babbling psychological mumbo-jumbo garnered from a year or so of personal therapy--I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that I was still mourning the loss of my marriage and a husband I still love. Mourning deeply. And that God wanted to heal those deep wounds.

It was necessary, first, to confess the “mate-search” for the obsession it had become, and ask my Father’s forgiveness for so letting it consume my life.

When I could see more clearly, the song returned: “Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my father!” With that came its counterpart: “Great is my faithlessness, O God my father.”

Then I had a sudden, deeper understanding of the message of grace: with all of eternity in mind, Jesus died for me, even knowing ahead of time all the periods of being unfaithful to Him which I would sink into throughout my life.

And yet, for all eternity, once confessed, those rank and wretched failures no longer exist in God’s mind.

This does not--repeat NOT--tempt me to keep repeating those miserable times of disobedience (deliberate or otherwise) because I know I’m “under grace.” On the contrary, I am so in awe of what all He has forgotten, I don’t want to offend Him by stomping (yet again) on His sacrifice for me.

It seems counterintuitive, but I’m thankful that I can remember my own faithlessness: the contrast between that and His faithfulness keeps me humble and grateful for His Spirit which enables me to live in His righteousness.

I know it has been said before, but: I just can’t get my mind around that kind of great and loving grace!

And so, still quite single and still sometimes too emotional about that, I praise God for His holding onto me with His faithfulness and tender mercies, which are totally new every morning.

What--or who--is in my future? Well, I don’t know. But it won’t matter because, for all eternity, GOD IS.

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This article has been read 495 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Heywood03/17/11
I REALLY liked this candid and thought-provoking devotional/account. You caught my attention right away with your personal story and then I just love how you segued into presenting the timeless truths from Scripture. You made me think and I appreciate that. Great job!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/17/11
What a powerful testimony. I really liked how you wove the beautiful hymn throughout.

Your last few paragraphs felt a little repetitive, and had me skipping some sentences.

The ending line was perfect for wrapping up your wonderful message. Thanks!
Henry Clemmons03/18/11
Very good. Super message clealy presented. It blessed me.
Michael Throne03/18/11
Thank you for sharing this with us. I married at thirty-six, so I can definitely relate to your uncertainty, yet I am so thankful that God made me wait for my perfect mate.

This is good because it is written in truth; we don’t doubt you for a moment. If we could write fiction half as convincingly, we’d all be doing great. Well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/18/11
You did I wonderful job illustrating an issue I often have, the need to feel loveable- yet God has been, is, and always will love me in all my faults and mess-ups. Nicely done.
Rachel Phelps03/19/11
What a great story for this topic. Thank you for sharing.
Mona Purvis03/20/11
I appreciate the depth you had to dig to reveal yourself to the reader. It isn't easy, is it? Yet, you shared this in such a way that it is interesting and very telling and heartwarming at the same time. We've all been down that road to some degree. Only a true Christian can see God in this trial. Love you for sharing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/20/11
I appreciate your openness before God and your willingness to share your lessons learned here in this well written piece.May God continue to bless your faithfulness.
Virgil Youngblood 03/20/11
Amazing grace testified too. God is so good. You have written words of encouragement that will bless all who read your story.
Ann Grover03/21/11
One of my favourite hymns, too.

Painfully honest, skillfully written. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Amanda Brogan03/21/11
Great message here about God's grace, faithfulness, and our need to surrender our obsessions to the Lord. I often find myself obsessing in my mind over when and where I will meet my future spouse. It prompts me over and over again to hand my desires over to God and let Him take care of the details. Your last sentence really spoke to me.

Great thoughts in this piece!