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Back to Basics

by | Jan 24, 2022 | Love, Trials, Truth

This morning I woke up at 4 a.m.

It wasn’t because I had a bad dream or a distant train whistle stirred me to consciousness. I simply opened my eyes and waited for my brain to catch up! Are you aware that you can’t solve all the world’s problems in the middle of the night? Believe me, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work! In fact, my thoughts run so helter-skelter in the wee hours of the morning that I’ve learned to use a portion of this awake time for something constructive. Last night was no exception.

When my room is dark and I feel alone, it’s during those times I’m prone to anxiety, fear, and worry. Ever been there? And with all the crazy things going on in the world and situations beyond my finite control, I try to find a measure of comfort in laying my burdens at the foot of the cross—in prayer. I’m sincerely grateful that God doesn’t sleep and is readily available to hear my nocturnal ramblings.

As I stirred last evening, I pelted God with faith related questions. Queries like, “Where were you God when I needed you? How come it seems like my prayers go unanswered? Why are good people suffering? Why am I out of work again? Why do you feel so far away? Am I really saved?”  

I’ve little doubt that you understand how negative voices can be loud in the darkness and the hush of the night. And yet, I have also discovered it’s in those unrelenting moments that God can speak the loudest.

As I prayed and recited memorized scripture, I continued to feel restless and unsure. I longed for the sun to rise early and end my plight as the clock ticked past 5 a.m. As I stared at the moon through my bedroom window, the powerful simplicity of John 3:16 entered my thoughts. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Wham! God had spoken!

It suddenly hit me that this verse is the fundamental truth of my belief system. It’s a promise that God’s plan for my eternal future through Jesus Christ is all I need in the middle of the night when my thoughts run unchecked. These words are the bedrock of my faith, and, in my opinion, the absolute most important truth in the bible—the very glue that holds Christianity together.

My dearest friend. God loves us so much that he sent his one and only Son into this crazy, messed up world. That whoever believes in him will not perish and will be granted eternal life—free of charge, no strings attached! John 3:16 is so simple and yet is so often overlooked or forgotten when one’s faith needs a much-needed, back-to-basics, booster shot!

We will always be saved by grace through faith in Jesus! Amen to that!

Paul Smyth