I have recently been reflecting on the place of faith in our lives as God’s people. The encouragement to reflect on this area has come from my reading of the Bible and books of people’s testimonies.
I am currently reading the Letter to the Hebrews and in particular, have just concluded chapter 11. It is the recounting of faith demonstrated by some of the greats in the Old Testament, leading up to the great act of Jesus in chapter 12. As the writer recounts the acts of faith, I noted my response to the references, which was to recall the full stories and be reminded of the admiration I have for these people of faith.
Reading testimonies of present-day Christian’s faith has also encouraged me. They are simple acts by ordinary people that lead to extraordinary changes. Two books that have caused me to reflect on ordinary people are “The Shift” by MaryAnne Connor and “Once an Arafat Man” by Tass Saada with Dean Merrill.
The Shift: The True Story of How One Businesswoman Left Everything Behind and Changed the Lives of Thousands. MaryAnne, living in Canada as winter is starting, is kept awake in the middle of the night as the snow comes down with the thought that homeless people were being exposed to this weather. That morning, she attended a church service, chatted with a friend which resulted in her approaching a local pastor to consider opening his church to the homeless. Little did she know that the pastor and his wife had been praying to send someone to help in this area. She unexpectedly was left with the key to the church in her hand and the start of a new mission for the Lord.
Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life, follows the life of Tass Saada. Starting life in the Gaza Strip, then through a series of events moving to the USA. After some years in the USA, a frequent visitor to the restaurant he worked in was friendly to him, and this opened the door to share the Gospel. A friendly frequent-visitor is the right person in the right place at the right time with just the words that Tass needed to hear, and so started a new way that the Lord would work.
They were ordinary people, open to the promptings of the Spirit. The astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous words while stepping onto the moon were, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Thesense I have is that “one small act of faith opens the door to action by the All-Powerful God.” It is not necessary for us to seek for the big life-altering acts of faith but rather to cooperate with what small acts of faith is placing on our hearts each day.
Top image credit: Christians with hands raised in worship, image from lightstock.com © user ID 43211339
Mark Challies is the senior coordinator of the Lamb of God community in New Zealand.