If you live in or near my hometown, perhaps you have met my guest blogger for the week. Erica Skog has joined me on stage several times over the past few years, frequently sharing her music alongside me at the Hazelnut Tree. Maybe you have wondered why you haven’t seen Erica at any of my performances lately. Well, that’s a good question. This past fall, Erica began studying at Northwestern College in Minnesota. I have missed her joy and cheerful spirit in her absence, so when I came upon her blog, I was encouraged to share her words with all of you.
IN WALKING by Erica Skog
Last Sunday, I was enjoying my devotions with my morning coffee—an uncommon occurrence for the college student. I’ve found that it’s these uncommon moments in which God chooses to reveal himself to me in new ways, akin to being run over by a train that doesn’t actually kill you.
This particular Sunday was no different. I was reading through Psalm 26. The Psalmist proclaimed that he would bless the LORD. The confidence and security with which his proclamations were made began to seep through the surface of my soul like a day-dried sponge being run under the faucet. Then, the following words charged into me: “But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity…”
Countless times, I’ve both witnessed and experienced the aftermath of trial and tragedy. Divorce, death, persecution, isolation, loneliness, whatever the fire, there are choices we are met with. We can choose to have joy, or to wallow in our grief. We can choose to walk with confidence, or to crumble in a pile of pity. One requires faith; one requires doubt.
What would happen, I wonder, if Christianity would embrace the former of the options? To choose to walk in the joy and confidence of Christ would be a beautiful sight; a bride on her wedding day, or a tulip blooming in the early spring. If, however, Christianity embraces the wallowing grief and pity provided by the world, it will be overrun with darkness; people will be turned into shells of what God would have them be.
I am reminded of Scarlet O’Hara, from the book Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Towards the end of the novel, Scarlet and her husband, Rhett, lose their daughter in a horseback riding accident. Consumed by both grief and guilt, Scarlet remains in bed for days, and refuses to leave. Rhett stays by the body of his dead daughter, neither sleeping nor eating, waiting for her to wake up. She never will.
That is what happens when Christians choose to sit in doubt and darkness. They will forever be waiting for something to bring them to life again, but what they do not realize is that they are on a fool’s mission. God does not call us to follow him when it’s easy, or when we can feel him. He asks us to follow him when we can’t. He asks for faith. Therefore, I will choose to walk in my integrity, and live in the light of the Son. When I do that, I will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).