“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV
Willa Cather knew what it was like to be a pioneer. Born in Virginia on this day in 1873, she moved, with her family, to Nebraska when she was just nine. There, she grew up among the men and women who were establishing farms and developing the land. Many were European immigrants. She witnessed the reality of their struggles and challenges.
As she developed her literary skills, her thoughts often turned to these experiences of her youth. After holding a number of journalistic and editing positions, in 1912, Willa decided to concentrate on writing novels, particularly focusing on life on the prairie.
What set her work apart was its authenticity. Others may have written about how they imagined prairie life, but Cather really knew. Others might have provided approximations, but Willa had been a real pioneer, coming from a family of pioneers.. Her readers genuinely felt they could experience what it really was like to be a pioneer. That accuracy made all the difference.
In their spiritual lives, many people have just a secondhand faith, with a secondhand understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. They may be able to quote Bible verses, and repeat what others have said. They may know about traditions or describe accounts they have heard. But their testimony is shallow. Their convictions are weak.
In contrast, some have had a genuine, life-changing encounter with Jesus. Their testimony has depth. They speak with a conviction that cannot be shaken. They know that the Bible is true and that the Gospel really changes lives.
No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, remember the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus. Of knowing what you believe. Having a faith you know is true.
PrayerFather, change my life that others might see Jesus in me. I commit my life to serving You. Speak to me and guide me. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Pray for God’s wisdom for David Cerullo.
Extended Reading2 Timothy 1