90 Day Challenge: Day 38 – Semper Fi

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful-for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

The Lord is faithful, even when I am not.

There are far too many days, too many times during any given day, when I fail to turn to him in my need.

Yet he is always there, waiting patiently for me to return, ever constant in his nature, ever and always the same.

Growing up in an alcoholic home, it is difficult for me to believe in the constancy of who people show themselves to be.

I loved my father a great deal.  But I never knew when he was going to be loving, when he was going to be mildly irritated or when he would be outright vicious and nasty-all over the exact same situation.

All depended on the time of day and how much beer he had consumed.

I was fortunate that I received mostly loving moments and mildly irritated ones.  The outright vicious and nasty he saved for my Mom.

Usually she bore them in stoic silence.  But once in a while, epic fights would break out.

I remember one summer night our neighbor boy, Tom, coming to our house, grabbing me and taking me outside to stand under the street light because my parent’s argument was so loud and heated it could be heard throughout the neighborhood.

Another time I remember we were driving in the car one night.  It got to the point that I couldn’t stand it any longer and I actually screamed at my parents to shut up.

I must have absolutely shocked them because they dropped into dead silence.

These episodes were few and far between, which is probably what makes them so memorable.

Still, with my Dad when he drank, you never knew exactly which side of his personality would show up.

I don’t mean to project my parental insecurities onto my relationship with God, the Father.  But maybe it is natural, because my human emotions are all I know.

Still, like many people, I sometimes have difficulty reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament.

I want with all my heart to believe as Thomas Merton did that the nature of God is pure love.  I try to keep my focus there.

And there is plenty of Scripture that validates this vision of God.  Even in the Old Testament.

”But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

”Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 36:5 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

No, it is not God who is unfaithful. It is I who in my weakness often lack faith.

Semper Fi.  Another name for the Lord our God.

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