Keeping the faith

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Neosho Daily News

We passed the six month mark of the pandemic earlier this month, meaning it's been six months for me of working from home This time has been a challenge and a struggle in numerous ways. The next six months may prove to be the same. At this point, no one knows and that uncertainty is what concerns me. No one, myself included, wants to face the unknown but here we are, flying blind into the face of what may come.

I can't predict what will happen, not with the coronavirus or the upcoming election or the economy or the weather. I could obsess and worry about it - and probably will - but that won't change what will be.

That leaves me with no course but to fight the good fight, keep the faith and stay the course.

If that sounds familiar, it comes from 2 Timothy 4:7:

"I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith."

With the other verses around it, it was one of my Granny’s favorite Scriptures, one she marked in every Bible she owned from childhood onward. It was the Scripture I chose to be included in her funeral service and one I’ve adopted as well. I read it at my dad's funeral and one of my daughters read it at my husband's.

These are strong words, powerful words, all the more so when you consider that they're from the last epistle Paul wrote before he was martyred. My Granny found solace in the words from verses 6-8. It resonated for her and I can understand why. Her long life wasn’t always an easy one. She faced many trials over the course of her life and through all of it, she kept her faith. The fact she marked it in her Bible as a young girl tells me the words meant for her than the obvious, which is a good statement for any Christian to make near the end of life, demonstrating that they have remained steadfast.

Life – and faith – often requires a struggle or a fight. When we are tried by life’s events, especially the unexpected ones, our faith is there. Many times, someone has commented to me that they lack faith because “bad things” happen and they can’t accept the idea that God would allow such things to be. I’ve always had an opposite view, that when things are hardest and we face difficult struggles, those are the times we need our faith more than ever. It may not be easy but if we believe, then we fight. We stay to the finish and we keep the faith. And, to get through it all, we fight the good fight.

So as I march onward, moving through this troubled time. Keeping the faith and staying the the course sounds simple but it's far from easy at times. All I can do is keep my feet on that path, move forward, and follow Granny's example from Timothy.

-Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is the community editor of The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser. She is also an author.