Someone I met years ago who had gone through an incredible trial told me, “Life isn’t fair, but it’s good.” I can’t say life is fair, and I can’t say it’s always so good, not in my estimate anyway, but God is ALWAYS good. And God always knows what He’s doing. And when God is yelling in my ear (not that He yells, mind you, but I’ve been known to exaggerate), “Don’t quit!”, it’s hard to deny Him. How can I possibly quit on God when He never, ever, ever quits on me and has every reason in the world to do just that! But I can, as God can attest to, do a really good job of pulling a two-year-old tantrum (AGAIN!) and yell out to God (or sob, as the case may be), “But WHY, God? WHY?” In other words, why won’t God let me just QUIT? Drum roll please. And along comes today’s answer.
God isn’t just trying my faith, as the Bible teaches. He is trying to show me something. And I was altogether surprised, to say the least, when God told me this afternoon that He is trying to show me that my faith is stronger than I realize. Now I know there are probably people out there who believe I have strong faith. Ahem. They should only know the thoughts that go scampering through my mind. I am the last person in the world sometimes whom I believe has big faith. Okay, I do tell people lots of the time I have strong faith in God. That’s true. But oftentimes I find it doesn’t go much farther than that. Sure, I have incredible faith in what Jesus Christ did on the cross. I have wildly beautiful and strong faith in who God is. But where I am lacking, it seems, or think I am lacking anyway, is in believing what God has done, is doing, and will do on a day-to-day basis – not just in the world, but IN MY LIFE! Voila.
And apparently, as God so graciously told me this afternoon, He believes my faith is much stronger than I seem to think. So go figure. Rather than simply tell me this and leave it at that, He proceeds as He has been doing for some time now to TEST MY FAITH. Argh. I thought that was simply to grow it, which I do believe He is doing. But apparently God is not just growing it, and refining it, and purging the junk out of it, mind you, but He is also wanting me to SEE (by faith, of course, argh again) that I have more faith than I realize. Oh, to return to those magic wand days when I somehow foolishly believed I could just wave my magic wand and God would do whatever. Yes, whatever. Well, gone are those days.
And I wonder why I’m tired. Okay, I’m not just tired. I’m so tired of this faith-trying deal that I could so easily just call it QUITS. Quitting time. Is it quitting time yet? Not in God’s book. And though I feel on the verge of throwing my next two-year-old tantrum, I will choose to act a little bit more mature this time around. It’s not exactly like I’m a baby Christian anymore. Who ever came up with that term anyway? So now that I am a “mature” Christian – not – let me say this. God had the audacity earlier today – yes, audacity – to throw a scripture at me as I was mowing the yard. And I had the audacity to throw it right back at Him. No, that’s not entirely true. I tried to convince myself – for a minute anyway – that the scripture had NOT come from God. Ha.
So this little voice pops into my head, “So do you think the devil would give you a scripture from the Bible?” Not. So alas, I not-so-gratefully accepted the scripture GOD – not the devil – had plopped into my mind. And so it is that I leave you with exactly that. And it’s not just a scripture, now that I think of it. It’s challenge. A challenge to NOT CALL IT QUITS. A challenge to be JOYFUL in the midst of a trial. And a challenge to be PATIENT so God can continue, and ultimately finish, what it is He has started. Go figure. God’s plan is not exactly what I had in mind. Makes me think maybe I should resort to the five gallons of ice cream after all. Sure beats practicing FAITH and PATIENCE – not to mention JOY in the midst of it all………….Peanut butter chocolate ice cream anyone? Grab a spoon………
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:1-3 KJV