At some point I realized it had become my word for the new year. Not really into resolutions, but certainly one to reflect, and how many times have I said it this way? I just want to be faithful. Looking back at all the ways He’s blown us away with His own faithful presence and faithful provision. God is good and He is faithful. So there I was mid-January, the last day of the Village retreat with all the other adoptive moms, and they have this tradition, to pick a word. This year they nailed those words into wood and spelled them out with string, and the thing is I was too tired for so much hammering, but still I knew. My word would be FAITHFUL.
I’m quite convinced He does this on purpose. God hammering home His own message, and what better way than to give me a book. The first book of the new year, as if to say… here’s where we’re going. So I finished the last chapter this morning, pencil underlining all the main points, and then taking it to Luke’s bedside table so he can read it, too. Salvation by Allegiance Alone and it’s as academic as it sounds but in a readable sort of way, and I’m telling you what, I’ve been eating it up. This author, Bates, bases his whole study on a Greek word, pistis – which I’ll be the first to say comes out a bit awkward in polite conversation. But it’s this same word I remember savoring in a seminary class when my German professor said much the same. Most translations use “faith,” but more often than not it’s really “faithful.” God, and us, too.
I just want to be faithful. And if you even knew half the ways we’ve needed this prayer since the first of the year, you’d know what I mean by the hammer. Making every sort of overwhelming decision to the tune of every imaginable human opinion and we’re in over our heads and we know it. At the end of the day it would be oh so tempting to give in to that lie about what everybody out there is thinking about us, but really does it matter? Is it enough to be faithful?
What does it look like to be a faithful parent? A faithful neighbor? A faithful steward? I look at all this treasure He’s placed in my hands, and there are certainly days when the most practical option is to bury it deep and take a nap. But then I remember Jesus Himself speaking these words, and I know for sure I don’t want to miss them. Well done, good and faithful. Well done.
This morning I took advantage of sun and 40’s to get outside for a mid-winter run, and that’s when I saw them. The cutest little guy and his grand-dad out shoveling a driveway, the toddler bundled in camo, carrying a red shovel, his pop’s face lit up like it’s Christmas morning. And my soul about took off soaring, knowing this snapshot was God’s gift just for me. Remembering like it was yesterday our own dads with our little sons, and picturing, too, my husband, a grandpa, and it comes full circle. This is what it looks like to be faithful, too.
So we parent teens, and we make plans with aging parents, and we give advice to adulting kids, all the while knowing we’re not by a long shot up to the task. But God is, and He’s faithful. And we’ll give our allegiance to be faithful to Him.
His master replied, ‘”Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)