Saturday, January 16, 2010

Journey to Faith

Faith is choosing to believe that which is not seen. But more than that, faith is choosing to believe that which I may not fully understand or even agree with. I know that sounds weird, but faith gives us a giant plateau to stand on even though we may only see our small plot on the ground. I picture myself standing in a field of flowers that stretches endlessly into the distance. Even though I cannot see the entire field, I know that it will be the same wherever I step. Solid, firm, beautiful, and able to support me.

When I first decided to give God a chance, I was pretty sure that it would be temporary, that there would come a time when we would need to part ways. Something would come up, and I would need to venture out on my own again. Long term relationships were not part of my make up.

It turns out that I had a lot of misinformation about God. While there are things that He is definitely not a fan of, His grace and compassion begin at the same place as judgment. The biggest thing I have learned is that there is safety and comfort in this field of flowers. He truly takes away fear and replaces it with calm.

Shortly after I started attending church, but before I had a really firm handle on who God is, we had a family "situation". Crisis, by some standards even. There was a Saturday about 6 years ago that led me into very new territory that I did not want to enter. I was up worrying and crying most of the night, then I headed to church, bleary eyed and puffy. I remember walking in to a mostly dark auditorium, sitting down, and immediately feeling the weight lift of my chest. I took a deep breath, and before I knew it, I was crying again. Not tears of fear and frustration, but the kind when you lay your head on someone's chest and just let go. I had never experienced such peace and safety, yet been in the midst of a storm. Every song that morning in worship spoke to me...Trading my Sorrows for the Joy of the Lord is the one I remember the best. I heard the music with new ears, as a way for God to speak directly into my soul. I was beginning to realize that there is nothing He can't see me through. He won't necessarily steer me around the hard times, but He will hold me close and lead me through them. Like when a horse is lead out of a burning barn, he is protected and guided, but still walking through the flames. And on the other side, he has one more reason to trust his Leader.

I know there is a lot in this world that makes us wonder if there is really a god who cares, a god who is in control, especially in light of global tragedies. There is. But before you can come to faith, you have to jump without asking to see the net first. We can't allow the circumstance to define God; we must allow God to define the circumstance. God never moves. He never changes. He never stopped caring. He never stopped being in charge.

There may be a fire in your life right now, but you can trust Him to lead you through it. The smoke will clear, and you will see that you are standing in a field of flowers, as far as the eye can see.

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