(Original post 3/12/2020 – Reposted 3/4/2021)
Last semester, after only a couple of weeks of being in the MFT program, we were asked to pair up with someone else in class and run counseling scenarios. I was trying to act cool on the outside, but inwardly I was like,
“WHAT? But I don’t know anything yet! You can’t just turn me loose on an innocent classmate to practice psychotherapy….what if I do permanent damage or something?”
Thankfully I didn’t upend any psyches that day. =) I actually really do appreciate (now) being “thrown into the deep end” at the beginning of the program. It brought all of those fears/anxieties/insecurities straight up to the surface like a bobber on a lake where we could see exactly what we were fishing with. (Ah, metaphors….)
It was also how I quickly came to trust my instructors – they’ve been through the “WHAT?” moments many, many times over and know exactly what process we need to be fully prepared to do actual therapy with actual clients who are seeking help for very real needs.
Christians aren’t more immune than anyone else when it comes to problems and difficulties. We live in a real world with real pain and deal with very real problems. But we also ultimately have a very, very real God who isn’t surprised by these things and is abundantly able and at the ready to meet us right where we are.
Just let that sink in….
And as amazing as that is, it’s also easy to take it for granted – and forget that not everyone has the kind of assurance we have that all will be well.
People all around us are in need of care, and this is what the body of Christ is absolutely about! Never underestimate the power of being present with someone who just needs to express their concerns (says the therapist-in-training!) And one way to be an effective witness and truly be Jesus in our communities is to ask God for clarity, guidance, faith – whatever the spirit leads you to pray, and then put into action what we claim to believe about following Jesus.
I guess what I’m saying is….if we’re still relying on the training wheels of our faith, it’s time to remove those suckers and ride! If you don’t feel ready….you’re not alone, I don’t think anyone ever really does. But just as I had to trust my instructors to have my back and lead me gently to the right or left as they walked around the room listening to us practicing scenarios, Jesus doesn’t ask us to follow him remotely, like some kind of tele-teacher – when it comes to living out our faith, he’s right here, walking beside us every step of the way.
So, I have an idea….let’s just show up for our family, friends, community, even be a presence in social media (!) and speak faith and light into a time of uncertainty and fear. We’ve begun this Lenten journey together, never expecting the weirdness of cancelled sports…concerts…schools…Disneyland?!
I’m not suggesting we do it alone. That’s not what God ever intended for us. So, let’s gain strength and confidence from scripture and pray with and for one another, then ask God for eyes to see the needs around us….
take off the training wheels….and practice our faith.
All Sons & Daughters
God With Us
To bring peace
To be love
To be nearer to us
To bring life
To be light
To shine brighter in us
God with us
You are Savior
In Your presence we find our strength
God with us
You are God with us
To be hope
To this world
For Your honor and name
To take sin
To bear shame
And to conquer the grave
You are here and
You are holy
We are standing
In Your glory (Lord)
Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Leslie JordanGod With Us lyrics © Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group