THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF
Night and day we keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith. I Thess. 3:10
I remember the times I was weak in faith. One of the most comforting things said to me during a crisis was this, “I know your faith is weak right now. Why don’t you lean on mine!” There could have been a better offer though. Rather than leaning on them, they might have shown a commitment to complete what was lacking in my faith.
This was Paul’s heartfelt desire. He longed to return to the struggling church at Thessalonica. If he had been able to do that, I can picture the reunion as he tearfully embraced them. I’m sure their fellowship would have been poignant but it wouldn’t have stopped there. He was adamant that the reason for his journey was to complete what was lacking in their faith. He longed for the opportunity to give them deeper teaching. He would have been, once again, their gentle spiritual father; teaching, illustrating, sharing from his own life, even admonishing, so that their theology would not fail them during times of persecution.
While empathy and companionship are vital for each one of our journeys, the effects are short and leave us with a feeling of incompleteness. We must be equipped with a strong foundation for our faith. A long hug and pat answers could never accomplish that. Someone who quotes Scripture to us as an inspirational pick-me-up on a bad day does us a disservice. Teaching us how to live in the Word, a lifestyle driven by love for our Savior, is not only the key to our faith but their most loving contribution.
If I hope to be the house on the cliff that can withstand the storms of life, I must understand that a strong foundation in the Word is the only thing that ensures that. The best hug from a friend and a sentimental note or two will never be enough to make me spiritually robust.
I am committed to teach others, on and off the road, even to my last dying breath. Amen