When you get a group of crusty, cynical old reporters together in one room, someone is bound to become the victim of bold and brash banter. I remember well, Drue Smith, a senior member of the Tennessee Capitol Hill Press Corps, who would sit silently while all the cub reporters took turns trying to ask the one question that would tip the scales in their favor. She would always wait until the end of the news conference, and then in a long southern drawl, she would inevitably ask, “Gov-en-uh, what’s the bottom line?”
Frequently, laughter would erupt in the room as we were all certain the topic of the day had been tossed about, sliced, diced and served up in every direction possible. But, more often than not, the last laugh was on us as the Governor summed up his responses to all of our many questions in the single most concise quote of the day.
It’s sort of funny how the topic of faithfulness could bring that story back to my mind. I remembered it after asking my husband what he thinks first when he hears the word “faithfulness.” He didn’t give it much thought; he just said:” The bottom line!”
“No matter what, the other person is there for you…no matter what, that person is true to you…no matter what, that other person is honest and loyal to you…no matter what!”
Isn’t that what we really want? Someone who would be there for us no matter what? Someone we could trust completely, lean on totally?
In the Old Testament, no matter what the Israelites did to turn their backs on God, He was true to them. He was honest and loyal to them. He was there for them.
In one of the world’s most majestic miracles, God parted the Red Sea allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground in order to escape their enemies. But, only three days later, they were miffed with Him because there was no water to drink.
In the New Testament, Jesus was just as faithful. He stuck by His apostles even though He was doubted, denied and left to fend for himself. In fact, you might remember, it didn’t take the apostle Peter as long as it did the Israelites to fall from faith. As Jesus was about to be arrested, Peter declared his allegiance to him. But that very same night Peter denied the Son of God three times.
What was the response?
Jesus was faithful to forgive.
Moses became angry and struck the rock when God had clearly told him to speak to it. God still gave him water.
David had both eyes open when he turned from God and let his lust take the lead. David was disciplined but then comforted by a loving and loyal Father.
Jonah ran from God, but God provided transportation to bring him home and give him a second chance.
Paul executed Christians, yet Jesus blinded him temporarily to help him see. You don’t get much more of a “no matter what” example than that one.
And even after his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus stood still, so a doubting Thomas could reach out and touch his nail-scarred hands in order to believe.
I could keep going but I suspect you get the point.
I’ve always thought if we had lived “back then,” we might have been a bit more faithful. After all, the Israelites got to follow a cloud by day and a fire by night.
God was their GPS!
But then I remember He actually gives us an instruction book and we still try to come up with our own plan. Even then, He understands and is faithful to all of us. No matter what we do, no matter how hard we struggle, no matter how many times we mess up, how often our quick tongues or tempers get us into trouble or how unfaithful we become…it does not change the fact that He is faithful.
And, I’ve got to tell you, I really believe even a crusty cynical old reporter might agree that is the Bottom Line!
“Our confidence rests not in our faithfulness but in His!”
Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
To whom are you faithful?
What about when they make you mad, disappoint you, sin beyond what is acceptable in polite society, embarrass you or make themselves look foolish?
Who are you faithful to, no matter what?
What is your bottom line?
**Until I wrote this post and contacted Drue’s daughter for a photograph I had no idea all that Drue had accomplished. She was a faithful woman whose colorful life story is definitely worth reading**
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