Monday, April 19, 2010

Crisis of Belief

When you're at your breaking point and haven't heard from God for a season, it's so incredible to finally feel that He is near--to hear His voice, not audibly, but in a circumstance. This is where I am right now, and I've had such a shawl of comfort draped over my shoulders. Comfort is such a mild way of putting it, really.

We've had a season of change, and with that came so many questions, fears, a crisis of belief, panic, etc. The moment we make a decision and it looks bad, I immediately begin questioning my ability to hear God's voice, to be directed by His purpose. I have a misconception that a smooth path means God is leading, while a rocky, uphill trail means He has abandoned us. But looking at scripture, there are many times when He led someone whom He loved up a steep slope. Abraham. Moses. Paul. Jesus.

What if this hard season is God's leading to something different, something better? Or just simply a new level of trust in Him and understanding of His provision? We made a change that we really did pray about, so we were left shocked when it was not what we anticipated. At all. Immediately, I fell in defeat to the idea that it was foolish. (And maybe it was. I'm still trying to let God show me the full story.) But what if what looks scary to us is in fact where God planned for us to go all along? What if it's a journey toward where He wants us to be--a journey we would've missed had we not made a change? Honestly, right now, I don't know. But I do know that He is not surprised by this and that He has still been faithful in providing for us. Some days there is work, while others there is not. But He does still provide. Sometimes it's in ways that may puff us up with pride; other times, it's in ways that we are being humbled.

The thing is that He didn't specify which way it'd be--just that there would be a way.

Through all this, I've had a crisis of belief. I've questioned, like Eve did in the garden with the serpent, whether I really ever even knew God or how He works. Did I ever walk closely with Him, or was that an illusion? I'm sure Satan loves nothing more than to see God's children ask questions like these. But I think they're good for us. Now, I can remember this time in my faith where I had such haunting questions--but I can also remember that God has shown me in scripture who He is and has given me proof (even just this morning!) that He does hear me when I cry out to Him. He has not abandoned us. He does love us. He is near.

To spare you a long story, I almost voiced a concern last night about yet another decision to be made, when something stopped me. I decided instead to just pray that God would speak to my husband about what to do concerning it today. This morning he read Proverbs 19 and came to me before leaving for work with a different outlook on the decision--that he should wait with patience and try being content with what God's given him thus far. I couldn't believe it! I know deep in my heart that God answered me this morning. He showed me tangibly (because I hadn't voiced my small concern to my husband at all) that He heard my prayer last night.

Crisis of belief over.

I'm realizing other things about myself, too. I'm not too much different than the Israelites when they were being complete morons, wanting to head back into slavery. They were on a hard, rocky journey toward something better. But all they could see was the wilderness. There's no promise land really. It was all an illusion. But it wasn't. God hadn't lied to them.

He doesn't lie.

I'm not saying we were in slavery! But I am saying that the moment something begins to look even harder than I perceived things were before, my first reaction is to think all was perfect...when it wasn't. It's a lie that--when we believe it--bring Satan joy. If we do go back to what we knew before, I still believe there was a purpose for this time. If we move onto something else, I still believe there was a purpose for this time.

So far what I'm learning is: God is not circumstantial. He is not greater when things are smooth and weaker when they are not. No matter what He has called us to--luxury or hardship--we are here to glorify Him. Period.

Peace of Christ to you,

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