Faith is a road that isn’t for the faint of heart. Growing up in the church was cut and dried with my black and white personality. I just assumed that if I did everything the Bible told me to do, life would turn out dandy.
What I didn’t realize is that the word of G-d teaches you anything but that. In each story that is told and each person that we learn about, you see the struggle. Rarely do we see anyone who goes unfazed by the trials of life. If anything their journey is filled with mountains and valleys.
We often think of the mountains as being an amazing view with all the world at your feet. I will never forget driving to Maine. While we there we visited Bar Harbor and rode up Mount Cadillac. To most, it is a leisure scenic drive up a glorified hill. For me, I was freaking out. I am not even exaggerating, we didn’t even make it all the way to the top. I told my husband if he went any higher, I was jumping out of the car.
What should have been a picturesque drive turned into a nightmare.
I suppose perspective plays a big part of it. To my husband, it would have been a photo op filled with the release of all stress. For me, it was a panic attack.
Isn’t that how faith can be? Sometimes for one person, that mountaintop experience would mean freedom! For another, it means a free fall.
I love to think logically. Yet what I have learned is that G-d moves outside of the box. He is constantly pulling us out of our comfort zones to be the people he created us to be. Better versions of anything we could dream possible.
But this is not done without growth.
It’s these passages of life that feel like you can’t take one more breath because you are so exhausted. Whether they be in fear, loss, sickness, abandonment, doubt, depression, it all is so consuming. It’s almost like a Tsunami that seemingly destroys everything in its path.
What we fail to realize is that after each catastrophic event, we learn how to be rebuilt to be tougher, braver, and persevere onto our next destination of life.
Often we feel we need to do it all on our own, but that is a lie. G-d didn’t create us to do any of this on our own. He created us to do this with Him and the community that He sends to support us.
Are you in a faith crisis?
Do you feel like you are imprisoned in a nightmare or a cyclical pattern of endless insanity? Do you feel like you are doing everything wrong and you wonder when the punishment will end?
If you have prayed and you believe with all your heart that G-d is your Father and Jesus is your savior, know this: the enemy isn’t going to make your life easy. In fact, he is going to do everything he can to defer you from becoming the person G-d created you to be.
I love the Message version of James 1:2-4 says:
Faith Under Pressure
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
I remember reading this for the first time and being utterly aghast at the simplicity and dare I say condescending tone (or so I thought) of this message. Then, I learned that James was Jesus’ half brother. If anyone had witnessed this first hand, it was him. How do you watch your brother be murdered by your own people and later suffer persecution for following him? Talk about death-defying faith.
What I am learning is that most of the people in the Bible weren’t naturally awesome. In fact, we learn of their human side and how desperately they needed to be saved. Each time that a miracle occurred, it wasn’t because they deserved it or made it happen, rather it was an act of grace.
When they finally let go of all the striving, G-d stepped in.
I have wrestled with my place in the kingdom of G-d. How do I move on without striving in my own flesh? And where do I let G-d take the reigns? What if I missed my one opportunity that was bestowed upon me and I screwed it up? What if I….
Amy Grant sang this song many years ago.
‘All I Ever Have To Be’
“When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head
And the thoughtful words of help and hope
Have all been nicely said
But I’m still hurting, wondering if I’ll ever be the one
I think I am–I think I am.
Then you gently re-remind me
That You’ve made me from the first
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst.
And I realize the good in me is only there because of who
You are, who You are.
And all I ever have to be is what
You’ve made me
Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan
As you daily recreate me help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do what I can find
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be is what You’ve made me”
The words and the music soothe my soul and remind me, we can let go and stop trying to figure it all out. He knows our capabilities and doesn’t fault us for not having His supernatural strength. That is why we need him every step of the way.
Take comfort in knowing, you are right where you belong and He guides your steps.