Trying circumstances…most certainly try my faith. During this time of trial…there have been times when my faith has been revealed as pure gold. At other times a crumbling fool’s gold…much to my shame and dismay. Not to mention making my present circumstances seem much worse than they actually are. So here are a few lessons I’ve learned thus far in this time of my present affliction. My aim in writing this is that you would learn from my mistakes…and deepen and strengthen your faith.
Just a few thoughts as I start my day…and I see if God will bring some answers to my uncertain future. Uncertain…this side of heaven.
I’ve found that there are times that my perception of God and of his love, care and provision for me is based on how people treat me and by what my present circumstances are like. Nothing could make my faith shakier than doing this.
When there is only silence and no answers coming my way…when there is a deadline…and a wall is drawing closer…I feel like God is silent.
When God is silent…sometimes…I feel as though he doesn’t love me and doesn’t care. When everyone draws away…and the phone calls from friends…or an encouraging e-mail is not forthcoming…I feel alone and deserted. Deserted by God and my friends. Alone.
The truth be told…some of these folks have what I call the “dead man walking effect”. They don’t know if I’ve been called and offered a job yet. They know they’ve been called…and they think that it would only make matters worse to call me. That it might be rubbing it in that I’ve not yet received that job offer. But instead on this end…it only hurts and makes me feel alone deserted and uncared for…by both God and man.
And of course there are others…living their busy lives…doing their work…and my circumstances aren’t even on their radar screen. They have no ill intentions whatsoever.
What I’ve found is that I perceive God and his love for me, somewhat and sometimes, based on how people treat me and by what’s happening in my present circumstances.
Not a good thing to do…and not a good road to head down. My faith needs to be solely based on the Word of God and looking back over my life and the lives of others and see God’s hand and his faithfulness to me and others.
Since I’ve been in these times of silence and uncertainty…it’s made it much easier for me to be understanding and a comfort to others also facing that uncertainty. So it’s easier to listen to them…and offer words of encouragement and faith.
As I speak those words of faith to others, or demonstrate that I do care…my own faith is encouraged and bolstered. It helps build my own wobbly and at times shaky faith.
There are times in which I decide I will focus on the outcome that I desire and know that God has the ability to bring forth to move and answer those prayers. I look at what seem like signs…signs that God has given hints of what he is doing or preparing me for. But I do so with fear and trepidation…because I believe there is a fine line between faith and presuming that God will answer my prayers in the way I prayed them.
So I guess maybe the answer on this one…is to pray with confidence and know God is able. But to do so with humility and accept that which is God’s plan and will for my life. Remaining confident that no matter how God answers my prayers he is good and he is unchanging. The same yesterday, today and forever…and he still loves me…no matter what.
I’ve found that the thing that calms my mind and soul…and rightly focuses me on God, enabling me to trust him…is when I focus on God’s word. He has impressed upon me Psalm 23 during this time. So when I feel anxious and afraid…when I feel alone and deserted…I say over and over and over again…
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Note…more to come on the lovely bracelet from Gloria Bass at www.vintageglo.com.