Our Challenges, Our Blessings

Recently, within the past few years, I have had an awakening of sorts.  I suppose a comparison might be made to that of a nightmare where you are strolling along, believing that all is well, then, suddenly tripping, descending to the ground only to find that there is no ground.  You are now in an endless free-fall off a stretched, rocky bluff realizing your descent will end in a violent disintegration of your body, your life,  upon impact.  All at once you awaken.  When you wake you are breathing heavy, your heart is pounding, but you look around you, gain your bearings, and suddenly have a tremendous amount of relief finding yourself in the comforts of your own bed.

My awakening has been one of spiritual enlightenment.  Not so long ago I was in a place of deep despair, a place that is all too familiar to many.  I found my self sinking lower and lower into the abyss of shame, embarrassment, guilt.  I reached a point where I couldn’t see the light of day, didn’t know the truth, and couldn’t find my way.

There have been many angels that have entered my life that have helped my awakening.  There had always been angels, but I was too blind to see and too arrogant to accept.  Through practicing my faith and thoughtful prayer my heart and mind have been opened anew to the greatness of my life.  In many ways I feel that God saved me, resurrected me from the Valley of Death, to bring me to this place of light in my life.  I have found the truth about who I am and I know the way to follow to reach my full potential as God intended.  Assuredly He needs me to do more on this earth and in this life to serve His will.

The challenge that faces me each and every day is a challenge of sharing this renewed faith with others.  I believe it is my responsibility, as a witness to God’s grace and mercy, to share this newly gained wisdom.  So often I find myself wanting to share with others, but lose sight on the fact that everyone is on their own personal spiritual journey.  I want my peers to listen to what I have experienced hoping that it might get them on a new path of hope.

I have learned through cross-eyed glances, folded arms, glazed over eyes, and defensive, condescending comments that all are not receptive to these experiences of growth.  I suppose my best practice is to be patient with others and when the time is right I will be allowed to share my witness.  This is a challenge for me…God’s latest challenge for me in my personal spiritual journey.

I have heard it said that God truly blesses those who suffer most.  I am not sure that I have suffered nearly as much as others outwardly, but the challenges I face inwardly are now a constant reminder to me that God is with me and that it is His path I must follow.  I promise I will not give up this grace and forgiveness I have been given, nor do I ever want to be in the Valley of Death again.  Oh, I know it will happen…I will fall again but I also know that I will awaken in the safe and loving arms of God.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Mark 8: 36 – 38


About jpsteltz

Proud husband and father of four; Literacy Specialist; Reading Teacher; Literacy Coach; HS ELA Teacher; Published Author
This entry was posted in Christianity, Faith, Family, Friendship, Praise and Worship and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Our Challenges, Our Blessings

  1. Mary Kay says:

    Lifestyle evangelism works. Others see Christ in you in the way you live your life. It doesn’t take long for some to want what you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chuck says:

    I think lifestyle evangelism OFTEN works and is often the only tool we have for sharing with students, but I am always wary of folks who say that living as a Christian us their ONLY witness. I think it’s prideful to assume that you can live a life “perfect” enough to convert doubters.

    Praise God for the renewal of souls! 🙂


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