Our faith has to be in the Lord, not in a desired outcome.
This can sometimes be a hard one for me to comprehend. Our faith has to be in the LORD, not in a desired OUTCOME. Our faith cannot be in the thing we desire to gain, do or receive…our faith must be in the Lord himself: the Giver, the Teacher, the Ruler of our life.
I’m reading this book called “Sacred Waiting”….read it. In the second chapter, it talks about Abraham, and how throughout Abraham’s story, he was spoken to by God. God spoke directly to Abraham, and told him to leave his home, that his barren wife would have a child, that he would be the father of many nations & then one day God told Abraham that he would have to sacrifice the promised son. These are all difficult things to comprehend. How do you know when it’s the right time to leave home? How long do you wait for a child? How can you give up the dream you’ve held onto for years? None of these things are easy, and none of these things should be done without God directing you. And if your faith is in the object of these questions….faith in your home, faith in your fertility, faith in a dream….then I believe our faith is misplaced.
When you drive a car, or wear a watch. You trust that that machine will work. Ultimately, you trust in the manufacturer of that machine. You trust that all the pieces were put together just right, even though you don’t understand how valves, cranks, levers or batteries work together, you understand that the manufacturer & designer knows, and that according to them, if you turn on the watch, or drive the car, it should work. Your faith is in the creator, not really the car itself. In the same way….like Abraham, who left his home without knowing where God was calling him, but just left in faith that God would direct, we should allow our faith to only focus on God & to watch for His direction. To jump into the water & keep our eyes on Him….not sitting around waiting for Him to move, but moving & allowing him to direct our movements.
We may not know where God is leading us, but we still should follow. We may believe that He is guiding us one way, but He may direct us somewhere different. Yet if in the change of direction we are following Christ, then how will we go astray?
On the last day in Kauai, we took our little car and drove a long, winding and “hole-y” road to the summit. While the length of the road was only about twenty miles, it took nearly an hour to reach the destination. As we neared the end, mist filled our windows & clouded the glass. We took a short detour to a lookout further inland, which was suggested as a better view than the summit. Pulling into a small lot there were only a few other cars, mostly other hikers because we were the only people at the spot.
We walked to the edge of the overlook, to the fence that was the only thing that held us from the depths of a mile-high canyon drop. It didn’t take until the fence to see the view before us….it captured us as soon as we stepped foot out of the car. There was a complete covering of fog. Past the fence was nothing but white. And as the sky was so bright, the air before us and above us melded into one perfectly spotless canvas. We sat on a table, submitting ourselves to the fact that we would see nothing of the canyon from there. This canyon we had seen from the air & from the sea, the canyon green with life, vivid with color, proud with height, this canyon we knew was merely feet from where we stood, was hidden fully from our view.
Sitting still on the table, for a few moments neither of us spoke, nor did any cars approach the lot or hikers exclaim. The only sounds that could be heard were birds echoing their praises & distant calls of the ocean shore, clapping with delight against the cliff walls. We sat there silent, feeling as though we were just out of reach of heaven….a perfect place of light, just beyond sight.
As I recalled this moment to a friend, she made a comparison to this “non-sight” to that of the lives Christ has for us….how we can be right on the edge of something beautiful, spectacular & breathtaking….and yet sometimes He hides it from us. It’s not the right time for us to see what is there, what is coming next, what colors he’s using, what form he’s making, or where he’ll bring us into. The beauty that he is forming is there…it’s within reach, yet until He blows the clouds away, we cannot see. We can have faith in His will for our future, and that our future is with Him…yet faith is what it takes to grasp that there IS something beyond the fog, behind the clouds, lying still & silent in his hands. It is waiting to be revealed, but until then, we are to sit, silently and in awe of the beauty of where we are…take in the smell of the flowers, the sounds of the birds & waves, the feel of the wind on our faces, the warmth of the sun beating down through the thickness of clouds. Rest & relax in the quiet knowing that while it is unseen, we know that something beautiful is before us.
Last night, talking with a friend, made me think about some things….about “being”. There also was a group of people yesterday, who I shared with about my struggle with this whole concept of just “being”….of being still, of listening, of taking time to slow down, etc. A very good friend of mine has asked me to take some time to slow down, with writing letters…..I started, but still haven’t gotten a whole one out (It’s coming you).
Anyway, what I found funny yesterday is that in thinking about “being” I took time to look through some of my old blog posts. It dumbfounded me because what is happening today, is totally different from two years ago, yet some of my thoughts & reactions are completely identical. I read one post, and thought….this could have been a narrative of me today, crazy! Totally different situation, and yet same response. Makes me wonder how much I’m growing….or how much this is just me, and going to stay me. Is there something more I need to learn in this area, or rather will I EVER learn?
I don’t know. But I do know this…..whoever is reading this, you know me (or at least most of you do)….so if you see things that you question, I’m opening myself up to your questioning of me. Seek me out & ask about it if you see something that brings up a flag in your mind….caution me, question me, whatever you feel you need to do. I’m okay with that. It’s helping me to grow.
So last night, while speaking with some close friends, someone asked me…how is it you can go through such crap & hard things, and still be so happy? My answer? “Because I’m a really great faker.” Don’t think that’s much of an answer? Well…..neither did I once it was out of my mouth.
Since I was in HS, honestly probably before that though, I’ve been the “tough girl” who doesn’t let things get to her. And it’s not that I really AM that tough, it’s just that I don’t want to face those things. Tonight, I was at a youth retreat, and after saying yes to leading part of a game……I said….I can’t handle it. I don’t want to do that. (I’m learning to say no when I need to and tonight I needed to say no.) Instead, I somewhat reluctantly grabbed my Bible, hid myself away in someone’s room & read. I searched for all the places that God told us about his peace, and how he would hold us together & allow us to have rest in Him. Here’s some of what I found: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) “Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest…..” (Hebrews 4:8-11) “Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink;….” (Psalm 69:14)
These are all things that were going on in my heart tonight, and as we studied together later, about how God wants to open our doors if we LISTEN to Him and then wants us to OBEY Him, I wondered about what it was that He wanted me to open up with. My answer? Fear. He wanted me to open up about the fear that was residing inside, holding my outside captive, never letting me truly express what was going on. It was interesting, because it was like God was saying….I can’t heal that if you’re not admitting it’s there. So I admitted it was there. And then the next thing, was….how do I obey God in this area? What am I supposed to do about it?
So….it’s been a good night. I cried. I think the last time I cried was in December….and before that one day in October. I do not cry. But I want to, because it’s an outward expression of the deep fear that is in me, and I need to express that not just to others, not just to God, but also to myself. ….”The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take delight in you, HE WILL QUIET YOU WITH HIS LOVE, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
And now….I’m going to be quiet.