"Some of the impossible things we're believing God for will never happen in our lives if we stand in hope instead of walking in faith." -Steven Furtick
I'm typing these words while I'm smiling and shaking my head at myself. Why do I doubt God's care and provision? What is it that sometimes makes me think that His words are for everyone else but me? 1 John 5:14 says "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." But, I've got to fess up...I don't live like God has heard me. Often, I live a "well, wouldn't it be nice if this would actually work out" kind of life...a life of small faith. My small faith protects me from disappointment when things don't go the way I thought they would or should. My small faith keeps me from having to face hard questions or do scary things.
How sad. Because I love and serve a HUMONGOUS God who desires that I have a humongous faith. And slowly and surely, I think I just might be taking baby steps towards a faith that does more justice to the faithfulness and character of the God I serve. I think that at the root of my small faith is fear. Big, ugly, nasty fear. Fear that God might not come through and so I don't want to risk anything just in case. My friend, Cozette shared something a few nights ago that struck a huge chord with me. Do I live under an orphan mentality or an adoption mentality? Orphans are alone...they cling to what they have because they don't know if they'll get more. They have no one to trust and no one to care for them. But as an adopted daughter of the ultimate Father, I can trust His love for me. I can know that at His very core he is Daddy...full of love and goodness. I know that He only desires my good. I can trust that if He removes something from my hand, it's only so that He can fill it up with something better. He is not a taker. He is a Giver...every good and perfect gift comes from Him.
We talked at church on Wednesday night about Isaiah 41 where God says that we don't have to fear because He is our God and will strengthen and HELP us. It seems like a relatively simple truth when you first read it:
God wants to help us. GOD wants to help us. God WANTS to help us. God wants to HELP us. God wants to help US.
Suddenly, what is simple becomes beautiful and somewhat unbelievable! And yet it is true. We have nothing to fear because God always gives us what we need. He always provides. I have seen it time and time again.
...Growing up my dad was laid off for months and we didn't have money to pay the bills. So, as a family we prayed together and asked God to provide for us. People anonymously sent us money to pay the bills just when we needed them...over and over again until my dad got a job.
...I lost a college scholarship due to funding issues and my tuition was due...I faced having to drop out. One night while vaccumming at Eddie Bauer where I worked, I found a loose diamond among the dust bunnies on the floor. I turned it in, but since no one claimed it, it was given to me since I had found it. I sold it and paid my tuition.
...After being awakened to the orphan crisis in Africa, we felt like we were supposed to go to Uganda to witness it firsthand. We had no money for the trip but people donated their sky miles to us for free tickets and God provided the rest through amazing people who just gave us the money.
...We knew we were supposed to adopt, but had $1,000 out of the $25,000 needed to start the process. God said to start anyway. So we did and little by little money showed up out of nowhere to pay all our expenses.
...We got to the point in our adoption where it was time to book our tickets to go to Ethiopia to get our son. It was so expensive! We booked two roundtrip tickets but only the charge for one ticket showed up in our bank account. I called the airline to tell them that we weren't charged for the other ticket. After hours on the phone, the lady said "I don't know what to tell you, ma'am. Your ticket has been paid for." Well, okay then!
...And then it came time to go to Ethiopia again to work with a feeding program. Financial hurdle after financial hurdle was thrown at me. Three weeks ago I had zero dollars for this trip. Today I am almost fully funded.
...We wanted to take water filter straws to Ethiopia for the 150 kids in the feeding program so that they can stick their staw into any dirty water and have it enter their bodies as clean water. That's $1500 to raise in the next two weeks. I got an email last night from someone saying that it was no problem and they'd write a check and fully fund all 150 kids with clean water straws!
...I mentioned the need for used clothing for the kids and it looks like I'll have 4 suitcases worth to take.
...My church just talked about generosity on Wednesday night and challenged us all to choose one thing that is valuable to us and sell it. The proceeds from these items will be given to me to take to the leper colony when I go for needs that arise on the ground for these people.
Yes, indeed. "Do not fear, for I am your God....I will strengthen and help you." And He has. Over and over again. He is always moving...always working...always willing to help. We need but ask. Asking propels us forward out of our small faith into the realms of possibility that exist with our humongous God.
Get me out of this skin that keeps God small and me safe! I want to shed it and leave it far behind. His love is so wide, so high, so deep...no one can fathom how He desires to move on men's behalf!