Going against the flow of mainstream society can be one of the greatest challenges we face when living out our faith. Choosing between the ways of man and the ways of Christ is difficult. When I find myself in this situation, one verse comes to mind:
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” -Romans 8:31, NAB
Driving to my local parish one Sunday morning, I was more nervous than I had been in a long time. For the first time since becoming Catholic, I was about to share my personal testimony at a parish retreat.
Speaking in front of an audience was not new to me. I had taught classes and shared my faith in the past, but primarily during my Protestant years. How well would this Catholic audience receive what I had to say?
My personal testimony was laid out in bullet points and stored safely on my tablet computer. All I had to do now was tell my story, stay on topic, and not run over time. Not too difficult. Still, I was nervous.
As I looked over my notes, I realized that I was going to cover some very personal topics. It began with finding faith shortly after a failed suicide attempt, continued with my conversion to Catholicism fifteen years later, and ended with the difficult choices my wife and I made just before getting married.
Before we started dating, my wife and I had known each other for a couple of years already. We had become the best of friends, so when we began dating, things moved quickly. Within a few months, we were living together.
A year into our relationship, this began to weigh on us, and we decided that we should live apart until we were married – a choice that was not popular with many in our families.
For the next year, we faced challenges all the way to the altar, but we never gave up. The choices that we were making were not popular, but it was God’s will. We were determined to follow it.
Pulling into the parking lot at my parish, I searched for the CD that had the song “Our God” by Chris Tomlin. The chorus reads, “And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?” We were encouraged to play a song at the end of our talk, and I knew that this one would fit perfectly.
After going through the CD, track by track, I finally found it, and I paused to listen to a few verses. Satisfied, I ejected the CD from my car stereo. Lo and behold, that very same song was playing on the local Christian station, and it was almost perfectly in sync with the CD as I ejected it. This gave me the confidence to know that I was on the right track (pun intended).
Finally in front of the podium, the speech went well, even as I struggled to speak through the tears rolling down my face. The Holy Spirit was with me that day, just as He had been for so many years before.
My life, my personal story, surrounded one theme: “if God is for us, who can be against us?” Over and over again, I was faced with choices to make, and it was this verse that pulled me through.
As you live out your faith, let this verse be a reminder that you are never alone. Your choices may not win you any favor with your fellow man, but it will win you God’s favor. There is little more you need than that.
Copyright © 2012, Chad R. Torgerson