As much as I think I understand certain glimpses of God, I still come to the place of understanding nothing.
It’s one thing to read scriptures like these…
Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more. -Luke 12:24
If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? -Luke 12:28
…but, it’s another thing to believe them when you can’t make the ends meet and threats to crush you are mounting.
We’ve seen threats keep their promises. We’ve been cancelled on, unplugged, and sought after by heartless collectors. No matter how hard we try, these things are here and now and they don’t care what you’re intentions are. We’ve been left sitting in the dark hanging on to scriptures that tell us that God will take care of us, but it’s evident that His timing doesn’t work with our schedules. He tells us once and the threats remind us over and over. The squeaky wheels in our lives are louder than the still small voice and we start to panic and doubt.
I hate that feeling. We’re supposed to be living with ‘spiritual’ vision, but physical circumstances make it nearly impossible. Then, we feel like we’re failing spiritually because of doubt. It’s a helpless feeling and I don’t like feeling helpless.
Have you ever noticed that relying on God often has us in the position of accepting kindness or generosity from people? It’s one thing for an answer to need or prayer to just materialize and nobody knows the difference. You can walk among people and none of them have to know that you’re struggling. But, more often than not, God uses other people to meet your need. Accepting it is humbling. Putting off pretense of ‘having it all together’ is hard.
I’m a much better giver than I am a receiver. I can give until I’m empty, but I can’t take. I can’t accept. I don’t like to feel indebted. Some people have a hard time giving and no problem receiving. I think that God walks us through terrain we try to avert.
And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job. -God to Ananias regarding Paul in Acts 9:16
In taking us through places we don’t want to go, God is shaping us. He never promised to work in our strengths, but promised His strength in our weakness. To constantly feel the weakness and never be able to get our footing in this terrain of living by faith is tiresome. It’s crushing at times. It’s ‘hard suffering’ in a sense.
I often wonder if it will always be like this. I ask questions in my head and Wisdom shows up to ask questions, too.
Always be like what?
Needing to rely on…
Me? Needing to rely on me?
In one way or another, we will always be weak and will always need to rely on Him. We can float between courageous and feeble faith, but that’s just our dance. He stays in one spot. Quiet knowing and unmoved confidence.
He shows up. We’ve nicknamed Him the Eleventh-Hour God, but He shows up.
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” -Matthew 14:31 ESV
When He shows up, we’re face to face with our lack and have to apologize for being so…human.
What did you learn?
To hold out in faith a bit longer.
Okay, let’s run it again.
If the goal is faith, then comfort isn’t important. Maybe we, I, can look at struggle and discomfort as exercises of faith rather than evidence of abandonment.
“God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor or your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed or happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you.” -Oswald Chambers