This question was asked of me recently & I really didn’t know how to answer it. To say “yes, but…” would seem like I was making excuses & defending something that (hopefully) my behavior & morals would reflect. But to say “no” would…well, frankly it would’ve been a lie. So I went for the cop-out answer & said, “some days more than others.” They kind of nodded their head & that was the end of the conversation.
Only my brain wouldn’t allow that to be the end & the question continuously kept popping into my thoughts. After praying, journaling, & thinking about it the answer really wasn’t that complicated at all.
Yes! Having faith, remaining faithful is difficult.
Maybe its not difficult for everybody, but it is for me. If I had a dollar for every time I questioned God, argued with God, even doubting God’s existence, my student loan debt could easily be paid off! To put your faith in something, anything, is to give up your control in that situation. It’s putting your problem ahead of yourself, throwing your hands up in the air & saying, “I can’t do this on my own anymore. Help!” If you’re a naturally controlling person (like I am), boy is this tough to do! To have zero control on how something is/isn’t going to work out & actually trust that somebody else will take care of to your best interest…uh, no thanks! But that’s what faith is.
My Bible devotional the other day came from none other than Matthew 14. I’m going to do a quick summary of the story in case you’re not all that familiar with it. It’s the story of Jesus walking on the water heading out to meet his disciples who were in a boat. Peter asked Jesus if he to could also walk on the water (isn’t Peter always the over-achiever? Now I like the guy, but if I was one of the other disciples I’d be so annoyed with his, “pick me! pick me!” annoying-kid-in-the-front-of-the-classroom mentality). Jesus says to him (in his cool, collected “Jesus” way),”Come”. So Peter gets out of the boat, notices how strong the winds are blowing (Hurricane Sandy-like), starts to panic & thinks he’s going to sink. He cries out to God to save him from what he perceives as his drowning (which God does…again!) & then God says, “O’ you of little faith. Why did you doubt?”
Whoa! Train whistle blowing! Lights flashing!….I had my “aha” moment.
I’ve read this story dozens of time, knew it was about faith, knew it was about God saving us when we cry out….blah blah blah. What I finally saw reading it this time was how Peter had pulled his control back after he had already turned the situation over to God (guilty!!!). I don’t know how many times I’ve “turned something over to God” & then when it felt like it was taking to long I’d panic & grab my control back. Ultimately “sinking” & crying out for God to save me (which God does…again! ).
Faith isn’t easy because its not supposed to be easy. We need faith most in our lives when the storms are blowing trying to knock us down. Faith is scary…faith is stepping out of the boat & taking one step in front of the other, knowing that God is telling you to “come”, even when you have no idea where he’s leading you or what the outcome will be. Faith is patience…a lot of it…its praying & waiting. praying & waiting. praying & waiting. Its knowing that you serve a faithful God, a God that keeps his promises. A God who says, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23).
I have a faith tattoo on my left inner forearm. I got it almost 2yrs ago when I was going through an especially difficult time in my life & I needed a daily reminder to hang in there. I was dealing with some things in my personal life that I hadn’t wanted to deal with in a very long time. I needed those words, I needed that strength to remind me that God is faithful & he always has a reason for everything. It’s a reminder that I can do better, & be better, because I don’t have to “fight” on my own all the time.
So, yeah…being “faithful” is tough & it can suck big time. But if you remain faithful, I know that once you get through your storm you’ll be in a place far greater than anywhere you would’ve ended up if you did it on your own.
Hang in there!