“Now, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”Hebrews 11:1 NIV
I was several months pregnant, single, with an hourly job, and newly sober. How was anything going to work out? I was in my early 30’s and had nothing – No house, no husband, no career- just a pile of credit card debt and a dump truck load of shame and regret. “Don’t worry; you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be,” the sober ladies told me. I hated that! Exactly where I was supposed to be?!?
“Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds,” the Christian ladies told me. Pure joy, my foot!
Impatient, scared, vulnerable, I wanted answers now. I wanted assurance that my baby and I were going to be ok. People told me to take it one day at a time, to ask God to take away my fear. But that didn’t satisfy the longing for assurance. I wanted to know, like KNOW when I would get the better job, when would a man show up to be the husband and father for my kid, when would I be out of debt and have some financial security. WHEN!?
God shows us what we need when we need it. This is the way of faith. We take the next right action and trust God to deliver the results. If we weren’t feeling untethered or uncertain during times of transition, there could be something wrong with our perception. It’s completely normal to feel afraid in times of uncertainty.
I like to think of it as driving at night. The headlights don’t show everything on the road ahead. They show just what we need. And somehow that’s alright. I didn’t need to know when I would get the financial security; I just needed to make a budget and follow it. I could project out with my excel spreadsheet that in three years, I would be debt-free if I just stayed the course. It took five years, but it did happen.
Let’s explore this concept of faith. I’m not talking about the stuff you see with the televangelists who are laying hands on people as they fall backward. That’s religious emotionalism. I’m talking about walking through each day with confidence in something bigger than you. A champion for you, someone who wants you to flourish and thrive. Faith is an exercise in trust. Trust that God, Creator, Allah, Shiva, Science and Reason, the Flying Spaghetti Monster ( I don’t care what you call it, as long as it isn’t you), has your back. Resign from the debate society, set aside any prejudice you may have toward organized religion, and open your mind to the possibility of the strength one could find in the way of faith. We all have faith in something, even if it’s merely faith that the sun will rise tomorrow.
Faith is a muscle that needs to be worked to get stronger. The more we practice, the stronger it gets. Maybe today, your faith muscle is flabby. So, let me help. Believe that I believe. I’m a human just like you and everyone else. The way of faith is available to all humans. All we have to do is try.
Just for today
I’ll try, however haltingly to exercise faith. To recognize that I can move through life one moment at a time. Trusting that there is something in charge that is on my side and not some cosmic Gotcha Monster.
Universe of Wisdom and Love, help me to practice trusting in your perfect order. Help me to understand that even in chaos, there is order and that no matter how untethered and scared I feel, that you are NOT going to drop me. Reveal what my next action should be and give me the courage and strength to take it.