My beautiful cousin and friend, Stacey Cody, guest blogs today, offering us the same questions she ponders herself about the depths of faith.
She simply is one of the most brilliant persons I know. She married her high school sweetheart 25 years ago, she's a mother of seven, yes I said seven, as well as running a business with her hub, AND is a first time grandma! These are only to name a few.
I hope you love this as much as I do!
Peace & Love,
I have been thinking lately about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And Joseph. And Daniel. I have often wondered how these children who were stolen from the protective covering of their family and culture and country and faith community could be so absolutely steadfast in their faith and maintain their righteousness in a land that was not in ANY way aligned with their belief system.
I think there is much to be gleaned in considering this. Am I raising children who could stand and remain faithful even if they were taken from me now as captives or sold into slavery in a pagan land? Is my faith strong enough to endure such a thing without caving to cultural pressure even if I were the ONLY person who believed in and served the One true God?
Could I face prison with such relentless hope? Could I face martyrdom with such resolution? Would my Christianity remain intact if I were transported to a place where I was the only one who knew the Truth? Could my kids'?
I call this kind of faith Babylon faith- the kind that can endure a captivity...or imprisonment...or even martyrdom. There is so much more I could say to expound on this, but I think those questions are simple enough to consider. It gets to the point, I think.
If I were taken to Babylon or Egypt or my very country were invaded with ideologies that are pagan to me, how would I live? What would I sacrifice? How much would I be willing to suffer to uphold Christ's standard if, say, even America became like a Babylon to me? If we were living in Nineveh would we take the opportunity to repent and return? If we were about to approach almost certain execution would we be able to say, "If I perish, I perish," in order to do what's right?
I don't know, guys. I pray that I could and I would. I know that America isn't some ancient foreign nation mentioned in the Bible, but there is nothing new under the sun. People have faced exactly this type of conflict before, and certain timeless individuals have displayed a strength and resolve that can be our example, especially if any of us feel like they don't even recognize their own country or world anymore. Imagine being ACTUALLY dragged to or sold to another pagan land. Imagine that happeing to you as a child or to one of your children.
So maybe we as a remnant can hold fast to the teachings of Christ instead of our culture. It's going to get worse no matter what. It's all gonna burn! Can we endure no matter what surrounds us? These are the things I ponder when I think of the captive and enslaved children of my Bible who never expected culture to bow to them, but also refused to bow to the idols of any culture. Can we?