God has so many things to say about this five letter word. Faith may be a small word, but the practice of it can be a huge factor to living an abundant life in Jesus.
In my life, faith can be seen in two extremes.
The first is BIG and EXTRAORDINARY.
There have been times in my life where I have had faith that I’m sure could have moved mountains. I claimed all of God’s promises and was NEVER going to doubt his plans.
Usually, these moments happened when life was good. I had no reason not to trust Him. I was on the Mountaintop, faith was easy to grasp.
The second can be described by the phrase, “A Crisis of Faith.”
It is characterized by lots of doubt, confusion, and fear. All feelings that should not be associated with faith.
I picture this kind of faith in my mind like a squirrel in the middle of a road turning back and forth trying to decide if he should continue on across or turn back.
That’s how my faith has been lately.
A couple of months ago, I felt so sure and secure in God.
He was moving mountains and making a way where there was no way. He was doing what gospel music songs are made of. I was on the spiritual high of His love, grace, and provision. I had placed all my faith and trust in what He could do, and He DELIVERED.
Then, I got comfortable in my faith.
I stopped talking to Him, hardly ever read my Bible and worship? Worship was scarce.
Now, It wasn’t like I made a distinct choice to stop talking to Him every morning, or reading His word or worshipping His name…
I just got…busy.
Oh, busyness you wolf in sheep clothing. The devil sure knows how to wield you.
All the good God had given in my job and the kids going back to school came with a mountain of busyness. Homework, meals, baths, laundry, cleaning and a host of other things were piling up on me quicker than I could handle them. Something had to give.
Suddenly those 30 extra minutes in the morning were spent in coveted slumber rather than in His presence. He became less and less important in my daily routine. I pushed Him aside and it wasn’t long before I began to feel it.
The crisis of faith.
I have had many of these in the last couple of years. You think I would learn, but I have always been hard headed. No “easy, learn from others mistakes kinda girl,” or even my own mistakes?! Nope, I’m a “maybe it will be different this time” kind of learner. Maybe I can handle only speaking to him here and there…
Here I was again, in the middle of the road, trying to decide which way I would choose to run. Would I run to big and extraordinary faith or would I retreat to the small faith hoping God would move, but feeling like He could care less…
Well. I got hit by the car.
Oh man, have you ever done that? Saw a squirrel running back and forth, all the while you’re screaming, “oh no, little guy, keep going! Choose a side! I’m going to hit you!” You are slowing down but there are cars behind you, you can’t screech to a halt or there will be a pile-up?! Oh, what do you do?! You flinch and hope he made it over…then…
Then you hit him.
It is AWFUL. I hate hitting animals, especially when they could have just kept running and made it.
Well, I am the squirrel in this lovely word picture. I got hit.
Like, rolling under the front tires and then the back tires, then by every car that was following.
Nothing outlandish or awful happened, but I had allowed myself to start seeing everything through my sin-scarred eyes and not the heavenly eyes of my Father.
Suddenly everything bad that happened was “Why would you let this happen God?” and “How could you do this to me?”
I fell into familiar sins and didn’t really feel all that bad about it either.
Dangerous, dangerous ground.
I found myself wondering if God cared about me. Circumstances would arise that would hurt me and I began to wonder if He even wanted to help me. I would sit down to talk to Him but would feel like He wasn’t there.
Have you ever felt like that? Like He is far away and you can’t feel His presence?
I can guarantee you it is not Him, IT IS YOU. Sin, bitterness, self, pride, something is in the way.
All of these were in my way.
Then I got to the place, laying in that street, mangled by all the cars (I’m not giving up on the squirrel analogy – hang with it) that I realized if I had just stayed with the Lord I wouldn’t be in this mess. If I hadn’t tried to run to self-fulfillment and what I thought would ease the pain of life’s hurts I would not be roadkill right now.
I was going to tell you I peeled myself up and ran to Him, but that would be such a lie.
He ran to me and picked up my broken and bruised body. He knew my heart was shattered and I wanted His presence back in my life.
I confessed all my sin, pride, bitterness and anger.
He forgave it all and embraced me.
My crisis of faith had dissipated into a seed of faith about the size of a mustard seed.
Thankfully He said that is all I needed to begin the journey back to big and outlandish.
God is such a good, loving Father.
He is Sure.
Not slack concerning His promises.
He took my heart, so forlorn and broken, and began to mend it. He didn’t scorn and throw “I told you so’s” in my face. He let me exercise my free will and when it had taken me to my end, He embraced my pleas for forgiveness. He met them with grace and mercy.
Where are you today? Have you let busyness or circumstances get in your way?
Maybe something happened that diminished and scattered your faith. Now it is so small, it is almost undetectable. You are caught in the middle of the road, unsure of which way to run.
Run to Jesus. He is waiting with open arms. He will make all things right.
Not easy. Not comfortable. Not trouble free.
But He will fill the scariness of life’s ups and downs with peace, calm, security, and most importantly Himself.
Choose to trust Him today. Choose the big outlandish faith over the crisis of faith. What He can do when you trust Him with your whole heart is unmeasurable.
– Your squished, scarred but mended friend.