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Faith when life is hostile

A while back I watched a movie called Hostiles. It is a western drama which centres around a battle-hardened US officer Captain Joseph (Bale). He has been ordered to take his mortal enemy, the Shayenne war chief, Yellow Hawk and his family back to their tribal lands in Montana.  The whole journey is full of suffering, bloodshed, and death. But in the middle of these horrific scenes are some revealing conversations.  

Among the people in this afflicted group is a stricken widow, Rosalie Quaid who has just seen her family massacred in a raid. In a brief pause of the terror around them, Mrs Quaid sees Captain Joseph reading the Bible. So she asks him: “Do you believe in the Lord, Joseph?” The Captain responds: "Yes, I do. But he’s been blind to what’s going on out here for a long time". To which Mrs Quaid replies, “I can see what you mean”. 


As I watched that I thought to myself, this is how many of us live. We believe in God, but we think he does not see us. He is not interested! And so, what we do, is what Captain Joseph does in the film. He relies on his inner strength. His hero is Julius Caesar. The bravest man he knows  The true Christian does not live like that. We do not draw strength from ourselves, but from Him who bleeds grace for us. And we draw this strength by faith. 

The French divine Mestrezat says: “Faith is the hand by which we lay hold of Jesus. By faith, we are not only permitted to put the finger into the print of the nails, and to thrust the hand into His side, but the very soul finds refuge in His wounds”.  True faith in Jesus is not merely believing in God or having evidence that He really has died for us, it is to find refugee in His death for us! True faith is not one off. It is growing in finding strength beneath that cross of shame. It is trusting that Jesus carries the scars of grace for me. 

And because He carries those scars, He is not blind to my situation. So, I must go to Him. I will lean on His grace for my situation.  I will pursue Jesus in my prayers.  I will keep focusing on Him. I will let my troubles escort me deeper into His presence!  If you are follower of Jesus, keep going to Him in prayer. You may not get what you want but you will get more of Him than you have ever known. And in the end that is what we really need. Problems always come and go. But to have more of Jesus, Oh, what a priceless treasure! To have Jesus is to have Him carrying our every burden for us!  May the Lord help each one of us to have complete faith in the grace of Jesus in our desperate situations, especially during the current Coronavirus epidemic!

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2020

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