by Jim Killam | 7-minute read
First Free Rockford offers a list of recommended marriage and family counselors. One of those is David Creek. In the second of two parts, Dave talks about finding God working in us and through us during this challenging year.
What do you see in people who are dealing with the current challenges in healthy ways?
I think they’re finding new pathways. So, when faced with the unexpected, it’s doing that work of, How do I slow down? Because if I can’t find an anchor in the midst of this, then I’m just going to be blown all over the place, too.
In a very real, faith context, I think the question becomes, Where do I see God with me in this? We confess the belief that God is everywhere. That God loves us. But I think that confession isn’t often lived out. When we are faced with things, it’s God, where are you?
I think the invitation in this is to find God in the midst of it. What is what is he doing with me? What is he inviting me to? We need to find that anchor. And again, it starts with being forthright with God—which I know for some people is really hard to do.
That’s why I love the Psalms. David was called a man after God’s own heart, and yet here’s a guy who did horrible things, and actually said and wrote down for all time some horrible things that don’t seem to be consistent with the character who God is. David was unreserved in his expression to God about whatever he was going through. I think there’s something about being completely open, in all of its glory and ugliness, to what we’re going through and to be open with God. It seems like God invites that.
And when we do that, we’re venting. We’re crying out. I think what you can open is this connection with God that is more of a lived experience versus just a confession. And so when we do that – we’re venting, we’re crying out, we’re asking, we’re seeking, I think that can open up this connection with God that is more of a lived experience vs. just a confession.
So, with a very strange Christmas now behind us, what might this look like specifically?
People might look after the holidays and say, “This wasn’t the way it’s always been.” Yeah, it hasn’t been. It feels like a death in some ways. And then I think the question is, Well, God is always working on the resurrection. What, then, is God resurrecting? What is the new life and what can come from this new experience?
It’s hard, and death is painful. And it’s not just physical and spiritual. It’s relational. It’s work. But God is a God of life, and I think he’s continually breathing new life into us. So this is his invitation to say, OK, God, what are you doing in this? Where are you inviting me into this? This is different. It’s not the way it’s always been.
Sometimes you’ve got to sit. You find yourself in the muck and you need to find somebody else in it. Are you willing to sit with them and not rush the process?
Finding new life from what seems like death. That seems like something we could figure out how to latch onto as Christians, right?
I’ll share an experience that kind of ties a bunch of different things together. I have seen the example of the parent who was patient, and now they’ve been faced with all this and now they’re more angry. Less patient.
But then I’m seeing them do the work: OK, there’s COVID and all of this. There’s kind of a death to what I understood as my life experience. In that experience I saw myself as being a very patient parent. And now I haven’t been.
But they put the work in of identifying that and then seeing what the new pathways are. And this same parent said to me, “I see my kid in a way that I’ve never seen. I am now able to see what I couldn’t when I was out of the home eight or nine hours a day. Now being forced to be in this space—living it, sitting in it—I have found the life of my child that I did not see before, because I was distracted.”
Earlier in Part 1: Spiritually healthy ways to deal with this high-pressure year.
David Creek grew up at First Free Rockford. During and after college he worked in youth ministry here, before working in a mission organization and then serving as a youth pastor for 15 years in Minnesota. He now is a licensed marriage and family therapist here in Rockford.