Friday, July 22, 2016

Words of Faith: Cheryl's story about how to insert faith into your life

[Insert Faith Here]
A Words of Faith story by Cheryl Cathlin

“The years passed…” (Genesis 17:1, Clear Word) It is here, at the beginning of Genesis 17, that we find Abraham waiting...and waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would have a son; and through this son, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis 15:4-5 NKJV). However, from Abraham’s perspective there seemed to be a few wrinkles in the plan...literally. Abraham was 99 years old, and his wife Sarah was 90, well beyond childbearing age. The prospect of offspring, much less the hope of descendants as numerable as the sand, seemed impossible.

Seven years ago, I similarly found myself frustrated by my own series of failures and deferred dreams. “The years passed” and took my hopes with them. A setback in my pursuit of becoming a lawyer brought my career aspirations to a screeching halt. I tried desperately to redirect, but door after door continued to slam in my face. A couple bad relationships and friendship drama left me feeling broken. Have you ever looked at your life from a panoramic view and thought, “this is not where I expected to be at this [insert appropriate time parameter]?” But there I was. Like Abraham, I was frustrated waiting . . . and waiting for the fulfillment of God’s vision for my life.

But while Abraham waited, God appeared. “ . . . and when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, ‘I am the Almighty God.’” (Gen. 17:1, Clear Word). God introduced Himself as “El-Shaddai” in the Hebrew. Some theologians translate it as, “The All-Sufficient God.” The message was clear and the reminder was timely. The Almighty, All-Sufficient God could do, and would do everything that He had promised. When God first gave Abraham this promise, many years before, Abraham believed (Gen. 15:6). However, as “the years passed” Abraham’s faith began to waver. In fact, we find Abraham deciding to help God along and [insert Ishmael]. How many times do we waver while we are waiting? I did. And I found that the choices I made with wobbly faith only served to prolong the promise, rather than hasten it.

When God showed up in Genesis 17 to reaffirm His promise to Abraham, it was humanly impossible for the promise to be fulfilled. Only God could bring it about. But it is here, in the great gulf between God’s promises and human circumstances that we [insert faith]. It is here that El-Shaddai, the Almighty, All-Sufficient God, shows up to remind us that nothing is too hard for Him (Gen. 18:14, NKJV).

In my story, God showed up. Through the loving encouragement of friends and family, I was reminded that God is “El-Shaddai.” He is the Almighty, All-Sufficient God and nothing is too hard for Him. I put the broken pieces of my life, my deferred hopes and dreams, into His hands and decided to trust Him completely to fulfill His promises. And not only did God begin to restore the broken pieces of my life, but He did much more – more than I could even think or imagine to ask Him for. In May, I walked across the stage of Liberty University School of Law and received my law degree. From a human perspective, this prospect was an utter impossibility. But El-Shaddai! 

Moreover, the journey to this point has been replete with miracle after miracle. Through the process, I have gained a deeper fellowship with my Savior. My faith has increased as I’ve watched God move mountains in my life and in the life of others in answer to prayer. I have formed lifelong friendships and been blessed with wonderful ministry opportunities. My longing desire is to draw closer to my All-Sufficient God daily and to be used mightily by His Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you are in a chapter of your life that begins with “and the years passed.” The fulfillment of God’s promises seems utterly hopeless. From all perspectives, it is humanly impossible. [Insert faith here.] Resolve today to trust the Almighty, All-Sufficient God to bring about what He promised. Nothing is too hard for Him! He did it for Father Abraham. One year later, a ninety-year-old Sarah gave birth to a son. He did it for me! And He’ll do it for you too. [Insert faith] and watch God work.

~*~
Author bio: 
Cheryl Cathlin recently finished law school and is currently studying for the July 2016 Virginia Bar Exam. 

She is from Virginia Beach, Va. but currently resides in Lynchburg, Va. She enjoys hiking, writing and participating in ministry.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your testimony! So encouraging.

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  2. So wonderful to read your powerful testimony. We miss your smile here in Roanoke but hope we were a good part of your journey

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