Posted: June 21, 2016 by J. Mike Condreay, Drummer
This week we celebrate Father’s Day. I love being a dad, but I often find myself being very negative on the kind of dad I have been to my two children. I also have been very critical on my behaviors and attitudes towards being a husband. This year has been a very hard year for me. Earlier this year I made a huge mistake. As a result of that mistake, and while I was driving home from said mistake, I was confronted spiritually about the kind of man, husband, and father I was being called to be.
Within a few days, I would bear witness to what the Love of a Church can do.
At church this week, the message that Nick presented cut me bare. I have never cried as much inside the church as I did on Sunday. As I listened to his words about the potter’s wheel, and the Christians that have fallen away, I realized that I was a living example of what he was preaching.
Many of you know me, and you know how I serve in the church. You know my wife, and my kids, and you know what they do for the church. There are many ways that we have been called to serve, and only a few know about that. I have considered myself a man of God, and a person of integrity, and honor. And then, you step away from the path. And suddenly you are in a situation that challenges everything about you. In the last few months I have had every stone, every pebble, in my creek of life turned upside down, and analyzed.
It is during these times that you meet 3 “people”. The first person you meet is yourself. I knew I was in trouble. There was a part of me that wanted nothing more than to hide it, to deny it. As a player of the Legend of Zelda, one of the hardest battles in the game is where you have to do combat against shadow Link. He has all your powers, he moves and fights just like you! How do you win? You win with patience, and with thorough analysis of the situation. In 35 miles I fought that fight, and with God as my ally, I knew what needed to be done. Confession, repentance, restoration.
The second person you meet are those who will pick apart a Christian. We carry a tough burden on our shoulders. We speak, act, and think for the living God, His Son, and the Spirit. I can attest to the fear, pain, and worry that come when you have to face that person. What will happen when “they” find out? What will “they” say? What will “they” think? I have looked into that breach, and I have seen and witnessed the mocking that it brought. I feel fortunate that I have not been destroyed by this. There are others who have not been as fortunate.
I was only able to overcome this because of the third “person” I met. You. The Church. You see when I fought back myself and I decided to confess, and repent, I did so with fear and trepidation. I sat across from Lisa, and I spoke. She listened. She looked me in my eye, and she said, “Its ok, I forgive you, and we will get through this together.”
The next day I called Nate. I sat across from Nate, and I spoke. He listened. He looked me in my eye, and he said, “Its ok, I forgive you, and we will get through this together.”
The next day I sat in my small group, across from my friends, my family, and I spoke. They listened. They looked me in my eye, and they said, “Its ok, we forgive you, and we will get through this together.”
At every step of this process I have wanted someone to just smite me. I want to be treated as unworthy as I have been made to think of myself, and as I have been made to feel about myself. And it has not, and will not come. I confessed, I repented, and I have been restored, and it is through the love of my Church that this process has occurred.
Nick spoke to us about the joys of trials and tribulations. I don’t think that any of us, when in the battle, feels joy when we struggle. I know I did not. But after 4 months I have come to recognize that looking backwards will prepare me for looking forward. My Church is battle tested; they have fought this fight with me. Our Church can and will support all of those, believers, or nonbelievers in their struggles. We will do it with Love.
We have all fallen short of the glory of God. That’s what Paul tells us. It’s written in the past tense, as though it can’t happen again. I have fallen short, and will fall short of the glory of God again. I am after all human. But I know that I have you with me. And together we have God. An AWESOME God! And through Him all things are possible.