Today as I was getting lunch packed for my kids I noticed something.
I was washing strawberries and was once again taken back by them.
They looked red, ripe, and firm from the outside, but once I began to wash and handle them, it became apparent that they were soft, mushy, and not so good on the inside.
I was disappointed..... And then a thought struck me.
My faith has been like these strawberries lately.
I have done all the right things to get my "outside" looking good.
I have been faithful in church attendance, acts of service, doing Bible study, and worship.....
But deep down, at the core...... where it counts... where I actually believe God and not just try....
My faith hasn't been solid.... grounded, or firm.
The fundamental principles are easily believed for others, but are so hard when it comes time and you are hit with the impossible, to apply them in your own life.
Especially when you are hit with the truly deep things in life....
Sickness, disease, fear, lack of provision.
The list goes on and on.
Is God faithful?
Does He care and listen when I really need Him to?
Is this what my faith is built on?
No wonder when the hard things hit I crumble and succumb to the pressure.
I am facing a particularly hard situation right now.
My faith is being challenged.
It's hard enough when it is about you.... but when it involves your children it is different... Things change....
It feels as though you are being cut at the knees.
I want to believe.
He has proven and shown Himself faithful so many times before this.
But who am I that He has to do what I ask?
Who do I think He is that I have this "Please do what I want, or I might not believe you anymore." mentality?
This is where the fear has really settled in.
In the nooks and cranny's of my belief system.
Poisoning everything I think and know about God.
Things that I know the truth of, but have been polluted by the lies and hypocrisy of my own self made standards.
Standards not set up by Him.
When steeped in hurt and not understanding why He does what He does, or why He allows what He allows...
I am faced with a very important question..... a very intricate choice.
Do I believe that no matter what I face, or what I am confronted with, that He is still my loving and caring God?
That He is who He says He is, and that He is still faithful and true?
Do I believe what His word says, even if it doesn't work out just the way I want it to?
I don't know......
I want so desperately to though.
Doubt, worry, and confusion have been my unwanted companions.
I believe that He is allowing the toughest things in my life to show me the mushy, messed up faith that I have been holding onto.
Showing me the most insecure parts of me. The parts that have me thinking that He is out to get me and doesn't want what's best for my life and those around me.
Thinking that although He has promised.... he might not come through.
Or worse yet.... that I might have understood Him wrong.
He doesn't want this for me.
That is very evident and very clear to me.
He wants me to be solid, firm, and unwavering.
He wants me to understand and know Him fully.
To settle into His arms and not fret and fuss.
He wants me to know Him like I want my children to know me.
To trust as I want them to trust me.
But it is a process..... one that I wish wasn't so slow. I know that it is the pace that I have kept.
I am wanting to get through this.... to overcome it and win.
I feel like I am beginning to run. I want so badly to get to the finish line of this particular season and race.
I can feel myself breathing deeper and harder. I have begun to suck in the air and lean forward a bit.....
I can feel more than see the course that is just out of my sight.
I feel like I am just about to round the corner.
I can feel myself pushing and pulling from my reserve.
And I can hear Him from behind...... gently nudging me on. Encouraging me to not give up.
I can do this.
I don't want to lose.... to have at the end the faith that is outwardly appealing but contains no substance.
I want desperately for my children to see, to know, and to want for themselves the kind of faith that I possess.
True, strong, unwavering, and firm....
And I don't want to be afraid of how I am going to get there.
..... until another tomorrow.
"For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does."
"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." Psalm 57:10
"But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Psalm 86:15
"The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy."
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 3:3