Faith Forward: Scripture is for the good times and the bad

By Scot Loyd, Contributing Writer

Scot Loyd is the Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Director of Forensics and Debate. He writes a weekly column for The Bison entitled “Faith Forward.”

Three years ago I had the privilege of standing before my son and his bride officiating their nuptials. It was a very different experience for me.

Although I’ve stood before countless couples and heard them say, “I do,” the rush of emotions I experienced this time was unexpected.

The church was filled with friends and family, a great testimony of the love many share for our two families becoming one. But it wasn’t the crowd that challenged me; it was the individuals standing before me, specifically the young man to my left, my son.

It is amazing how quickly time passes, and this was demonstrated in a picture presentation showing both the bride and groom at various stages of their life, from infants to adults.

After watching these images, I was overcome with a myriad of emotions, from sorrow to joy. Like the clichéd descriptions of a Hollywood movie, the pictures of my baby becoming a man caused me to “Laugh and cry.”

After witnessing this presentation, I felt the strange sense of being present yet absent at the same time. It was difficult to focus, a surreal experience to say the least.

I managed to string together some words, they exchanged vows and rings and in a moment the matrimony was complete. The moment was there and then it passed, like all the moments of our lives.

Maturity is a gift and a curse. It is a gift because it provides perspective and wisdom; it is a curse because perspective and wisdom come at a price. The accounts of maturity are settled with the currency of time.

In order for maturity to be experienced there must be a depletion of time in exchange. And standing before my son, I could almost see withdraws being made.

I certainly rejoice with my son and daughter-in-law, and I am thankful for the journey that is ahead of them. But I also reflect on my own journey and understand that for them, as it is for us, the difficult hours and glorious moments will both come often at the same time.

I was reminded of what the wise man had to say in Ecclesiastes 7:14, “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.” In other words, life is unpredictable.

This is true for newlyweds and for those, like me, getting ready to celebrate silver wedding anniversaries. And this will continue to be true throughout life.

The constant in life for all of us, who find their identity in Christ, is to understand that wisdom and peace continue to be found in the power of God’s Word. One of my favorite sources of this wisdom and peace is found in the Psalms; “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1NIV)

So wherever we find ourselves on this journey called life, we can know that God is with us! God is never absent in the moments of our life that rush by so quickly. If we will access His wisdom as found in His word, we will experience a profound and supernatural peace in every moment, in both the good times and bad.

Anne Lamott in her book, “Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith,” observes,  “there’s a lovely Hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, ‘Why on our hearts, and not in them?’ The rabbi answered, ‘Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your heart, and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside.’

May the holy words of God fall inside all the moments of our lives.

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