Summary: The meaning of life, the tenure of life, and the essence of life is always God’s conclusion.
Sunday, January 7, 2007
“Faith: Still Here”
Text: Joshua 4: 1- 9
Without a doubt all of us here today have a faith statement we can make on January 7, 2007 – we are still here. For some 2006 was a difficult year, you may have had challenges that seems insurmountable, but you are still here. You may have experienced an illness that had you down, but not out; you are still here. Some may have felt the unbearable – heartbreak, rejection, or defeat; but like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, you are still here. Some may have suffered the lost of loved ones and the pain is still an open wound; but you are still here. Some may have wrestled with an addiction that by any measure had the best of you, but you knew that you could beat it, and no matter how tough the struggle may have been, as long as you continued to fight, you knew you would make it, and through it all, you are still here. Some may have counted you out, some may have wanted you out, some sought to take you out; but look, you can say, I’m still here.
I believe the ability to say, still here, is a faith statement.
It’s a faith statement because some of you know that if it had not been for the Lord on your side. Where would you be?
It’s a faith statement because some of you know that in the midnight hour when you where all by yourself and nobody could hear you crying; it was God who wiped the tears from you eyes and became you comforting presence and assured you that everything is going to be alright; and you are still here.
It’s a faith statement because some of you know what it means to wake up in the morning and get out of bed; knowing that your bed was not a cooling board; and you are still here.
It’s a faith statement when as a Black Male, the statistics says that life expectancy in America for white females is 80yrs, for black females is 76 years, for white males is 75 years, and for black males is 69 years; and you have pasted that mark and some; you are still here.
On the other hand, I’m still here, can be an arrogant statement, if you believe that you pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps, if you believe you row your own boat, if you believe that the alarm clock woke you up. I’m still here, can be an arrogant statement, if you believe that the world owes your something, if you think everyone should applaud when you walk through the door, if you feel that nothing will happen unless you make it happen. I’m still here, can be an arrogant statement.
But, I’m not talking about it in that manner. For me, I’m still here is a faith statement. It’s recognizing that God has made a way out of no way. It’s recognizing that God has kept a hedge of protection around you. It’s understanding that you’re here only by the grace of God.
Does anyone know what I mean when I say; still here is a faith statement?
Don’t you remember when no one thought you would survive, the pressure was too much to bear, the loneliness was terrifying, and vultures hovered over your body, like a caucus on the road?
Don’t you remember when you where happy just to stumble into a watch night service with a testimony that you will try to live better, that you would forgo a dangerous lifestyle, that you would give up a life destroying habit or relationship?
Don’t you remember when New Year’s was the loneliness time of the year and instead of being in Church, you would be singing Old Lang Zang with someone, anyone, and anywhere?
I hope you understand that just to be able to say on January 7, 2007, I’m still here is a faith statement.
Don’t take it lightly, for Paul says it this way, “faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen.”
I like most of America marveled at the story of Wesley Autry of New York. Who sacrificed himself to save a young man, Cameron, on the New York subway? Cameron fell over the platform while having sieges and was in the path of an oncoming train. Wesley with no thought of his life and safety, jumped off the platform. Pulled the young man into a channel of the rail tracks, covered him with his body, as the trained rolled over him. I can imagine while lying on the young man with the train rolling over him, his two daughters on the platform being held by strangers. After the train passed, he could only sigh with a sense of relief. I’m still here!