Lately I have been thinking a lot about faith. The bible is full of scriptures concerning faith. According to Hebrew 11:1 (King James Version) Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:6 (New Living Translation) says…And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Most folks that have spent any time in church, Sunday school or vacation bible school have been taught to trust God, and that he is faithful.
I can personally give testimony after testimony of how God has walked me through some hard stuff…my husbands battle or when our youngest child had to have open heart surgery when she was only two. Those are just a couple of instances, there are more so many more. Yet lately I’ve noticed that sometimes its a bit harder to have faith. Sometimes I just feel weary.
I listen to my kids talk and the younger ones seem to always have child like faith. The older ones seem to be grounded in who they are in Christ and in who He is in their life.
I am blessed by this, yet recently I have felt a bit removed. I remember having their zeal and unwavering trust in God. It isn’t that I’ve stopped trusting. It isn’t that I’ve forgotten who God is and that he loves me. Lately however I find myself praying and asking God to show me how to trust him more. It seems like I am being stretched in so many areas like a piece of bubble gum. It has been as if there is an unexplainable shifting in my spirit that I had not been able to explain, until last night.
I was surfing Facebook when I came across the post where someone shared that they are in a place of depression, and despair. They were expressing how although they have their faith and they are clinging to it, they were weary and worn down by the journey of life… my heart instantly was so heavy for this person. It seems that the older I get the more I am seeing despair, hurt, pain, disappointments in the lives of those I know. How do you minister faith to someone in this state? How do you encourage those who are beat down and hurt? How should I personally persevere in my own life?
As I was praying about this I got the image of a piece of bubble gum and its elasticity. Then instantly for some reason my next thought was about things I’ve heard my grandparents and parents say in conversation, things like ” when you have lived as long as I have …”as well as, “I’ve seen a lot in my days….”
Two of my grandparents lived to reach their late eighties and one even lived to be ninety three….you can bet they saw much in their life span and I can say confidently that they experienced much change, loss and sorrow. After all if you live to reach 93 you have most likely out lived most if not all of your friends. You have seen wars, lost loved ones and family members, you have seen the changes in society and you have survived the isolation that most likely comes when you no longer can be as independent as you once were. Yet in all of this God is still God and my grandparents served Him through all that came their way.
It was in that moment that I realized that my young children trust God because they know nothing else this is what we have instilled in them. My older children trust God because they to were taught to trust Him but they have also experienced his faithfulness, and they have chosen to trust Him!
This makes me feel very blessed of course, but I kept thinking about all those I know that are hurting.
My next thought was of all of us that have lived long enough to experience life and its joys as well as life and its disappointments. We are not yet “over the hill” per say but definitely we are a bit seasoned!
We have been taught to trust God, we have experienced God’s faithfulness, we have chosen to trust Him and now we are beginning to experience change, loss and possibly disappointments. Maybe your 20 year plan didn’t look just like this.
This is when we have to be as pliable as bubble gum, we will need to be stretched in order to be able to stand! This is the season that despite our experiences, despite the disappointments and regardless of our losses we have to know that all that we have learned, all that we have stood for, all that we have believed about God and His faithfulness is truth.
As we begin to enter the stage where we too have begun to see a lot in our days we must stand in the knowledge of who Christ is and who we are in Christ.
So as we are stretched and pulled and chomped on by the day to day comings and goings we must stay steadfast. It isn’t a feeling, it isn’t an emotion, it isn’t a one time warm fuzzy experience. It is a choice that we consciously make. The word of God instructs us to walk by faith not by sight. In other words we are not to depend on what we see or feel but we are to depend on GOD and his character.
Presently I find myself in a season of making declarations. Declarations from the word of God. Declarations that I many times utter out loud.
I think that I have finally realized what the shift was that I was experiencing.
I now realize that as I am getting older and seeing more things from maybe even a different perspective than I may have had when I was younger, or as I am experiencing new stages of life…. I am also sensing a need to cling to the truth from the word of God more and more. It eases my spirit to declare these truths.
I love to mow or use the loud blower as I work in the yard because it drowns out me hollering out things like:
” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!!” “Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world” My God is more than enough” “My God is my deliverer” ” He is my ever present help in time of trouble”….and so on and so forth.
We have eleven acres so I have a lot of time to mow and make declarations….funny thing is that as I declare these truths my spirit is encouraged and my circumstances don’t seem to wear on me. Making declarations from the word leaves me refreshed and able to carry on with my day.
After declarations such as these it matters little what the news channels say. After praying these scriptures it is easier to see more clearly what may have been cloudy just minutes before. Truth does that for you.
So I would encourage everyone to be like bubble gum, stretch to grow in faith, be sticky and stick to God, and at every curve and turn be pliable, you won’t snap you will only become tougher and stronger….just like an old piece of bubble gum!!