“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” ~ Psalm 37:3
He trudges up the hill from the metro station, tired and overwhelmed from a long work day, yet eager to see his family. He opens the door, opens his arms, and swing dances his worries away with three little girls, their eyes shining. He is faithful.
She wakes up to the baby crying, says a quick prayer for strength, and enters the nursery for the third time that night. She feeds, rocks and sing songs to her little one. She is faithful.
Sometimes faithfulness shines through most when you are overwhelmed, at your wits end, even. You think you have nothing to give and you are right. But then you think of Christ, the One to whom David wrote, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” You grab ahold of that Rock and watch Him move through you in ways you didn’t think were possible.
And then there are times when faithfulness is shown by what we don’t do. When we say no to one thing in order to say a wholehearted “yes” to another.
He types vigorously in a dark room late at night, words quickly flowing to meet tomorrow’s deadline, he finishes fast. An unwanted image pops up on his screen. He stops, thinks, decides. He turns off the screen and walks away. He is faithful.
She exits the Capitol building and gets into her car to drive home from work. She knows that the emails will keep coming, but she turns off her blackberry and pulls into her driveway. Work is over – her kids take precedence now. She is faithful.
To feed, to tend, to cultivate faithfulness. To “befriend” faithfulness. Sometimes it means doing the same thing again and again (and again!) because it is simply your duty, the task The Lord has entrusted you with today.
She pulls into the assisted living home with a bag of groceries, a new book, and some pictures of her grandchildren she printed off of the computer. She walks up the stairs into her mother’s room. She enters for the third time that week, this time ready to take her mother out to lunch, to brighten her day a bit. She is faithful.
She pulls out her book and places her fingers to the words, slowly sounding out the letters under her breath. She reads one word. One word becomes a sentence. One sentence becomes a paragraph, one paragraph a page, one page a book. Soon she has completed 10 books. She is faithful.
And sometimes, faithfulness means being willing to sacrifice your very life for your fellow man. In December, Joel and I visited the World Trade Center memorial (see picture above). My hands moved slowly and deliberately over each name etched in stone, names of fire-fighters and service men and women who faithfully responded to the call of duty – and gave up their lives as a result.
While we can observe everything from small to heroic acts of faithfulness in the lives of those around us, we cannot fully understand faithfulness without looking to God, the Faithful One.
“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:4
Our God is a faithful, covenant-keeping God. He’s “the Rock” – steadfast, immovable, strong, secure, and enduring. We cling to Him, and we survive life’s storms. We stand on Him and rise above the waves. And when His character is tended and nurtured within us, He says that we too can be faithful.
Faithfulness is a fruit of, a result of God’s Spirit dwelling within the believer. What do you face today, friend, that causes your knees to weaken with fear or dread? What grates or grinds at your patience to the point of just wanting to give up? If God has called you to the task, He promises to be faithful to supply the grace and strength you need.
Call on the Faithful One, receive His grace today, and watch as the fruits of faithfulness bloom within you.