I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 (NKJV)
Once at a high school football game one of our hometown players was knocked out after being tackled. I remember this because just as the unsettling realization passed like a wave through the onlookers, a man rushed out on the field from the sidelines. He dropped to his knees beside the fallen teenager in an obvious posture for praying.
His was a visceral response to life-threatening circumstances; under pressure his faith surfaced and he didn’t give a second thought as to how this would play out in the court of public opinion. All he knew was that his son needed divine intervention and the best way to guarantee that was to throw himself on the mercy of our heavenly Father.
His prayer was honored; after a matter of minutes his son was revived and went back onto the field to resume play while his father disappeared into the crowd. The story still lingers in my memory all these years later because of the authenticity of this man’s spontaneous burst of faith. So rarely do we witness a person’s raw faith open and exposed. When I dip into this cache of memories I am repeatedly blessed anew.
By contrast my own faith falters when circumstances require the most basic of public professions of faith, such as joining in a blessing prayed over a shared restaurant meal with family. These situations find me feeling self-conscious and somewhat embarrassed. My desire is that when the time comes God will be able to use me like he did that boy’s father. Perhaps then I will be able to reach down inside of me and tap the reservoir of faith that God’s people have at their disposal and that I will have the courage to act on it.
Heavenly Father, with your guidance may I grow into a Christian who sets an example for being unashamed and unapologetic for my beliefs. Amen.