Something to believe in

In 1990, the popular hair band, Poison, released a power ballad that is widely known yet today. The song, “Something to Believe In,” raises a dilemma that we all struggle with. The reality of our world and our personal lives is that there is darkness. As the song lyrics indicate, there are pastors and leaders who take advantage of their power and fail the very people they are blessed to lead. There is depression and suicide; anger and addiction; death and divorce; loneliness and financial hardship.

As a pastor for over 20 years, I’ve enjoyed meeting many people and I have concluded that when it comes to navigating through pain we all have a choice to make. We will live with one of two perspectives. And the choice we make is absolutely critical to the health and outcome of our relationships and life.

We can look at God through the lens of pain, hurt and chaos. Often when we look at God through that lens, we will look at all of our life through that lens. Or, despite the pain we have witnessed and felt, we can look at God first. We can take an honest, open, authentic look at God first and discover his character, his view of us, and his activity down through the ages that we read about in the Bible.

Some pain will never be understood other than “sin sucks” and hurts far more people than we realize. But sometimes, when we look at God first and walk with him through the pain, we can see his protection and guidance before, during and after our hurt.

I received this email in December and the writer gave me permission to share it: “Today would have been my grandmother’s 101st birthday. She was a devoted Catholic woman her entire life, but towards the end of her life she could see that some of her children and grandchildren were straying from the Catholic faith. One of the last times my daughter (age 4 at the time) and I saw her, she said to us, “I just want God to be a part of your lives.” I am so thankful to have found Prairie Heights and I have accepted Jesus, the light, into my life. I was brought to tears during your message today, knowing all the darkness my family and I have been through. When picking up my daughter from Kidventure, I noticed a Bible in her hands. She chose to accept Jesus into her life today, on her “Nanny’s” birthday. Today was God and my grandmother working in my life and my daughter’s, and I hope to never forget this feeling of love and acceptance for the rest of my life.”

I am so thankful for the faith of this grandmother. The joy of faith in Christ is that it will continue making a difference after our time on earth is gone. I have the same desire as this grandmother. I write this column because I want God to be a part of your life; not a side project, but the lens through which you look at and receive all of life. It will make a much bigger difference than you could ever imagine!

God bless you.

Hauser is founding and senior pastor, Prairie Heights of Fargo Moorhead.