Whatever’s on the Other End
“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” ~1 Peter 1:7
January’s a good time to check your faith. How strong is your faith in God?
There was a time when I wouldn’t pray certain things. I didn’t want to put them out there in case God would do something God-esque crazy! Like take my children from me or move me to Africa. (No offense, my African friends.)
In my early years of marriage when Cam would travel, I used to feel afraid when going to bed. Truth be told, this carried on until our boys headed into their teen years. Seriously. And Cam travelled a lot!
Of the very few people who knew I struggled with this fear, I’d get the obligatory: God will protect you. He will watch over you. Just pray.
Of course, I knew that from Scripture. And, of course, I’d pray for protection over our home, our children and myself. “God, dispatch your angels. God, I know you’re here,” I’d habitually pray.
But something inside me also knew that lots of people pray for these things. God loves them. And still bad things happen. Houses burn down. Women get attacked. Children die.
That’s called a theodicy. God is good. God is all-powerful. And yet bad stuff still happens.
So, I kept praying protection. Kept feeling afraid. And kept a weapon by my bed (no guns - I’m Canadian!). And kept trying to figure this out with God.
My friend, Dianne Balch once told me, “Whenever the phone rings, I say to God, ‘thank you for whatever’s on the other end of that line.’”
That’s it. It’s taken years, but that’s the posture of faith I want to have. And trust me, it takes practice to have this kind of faith.
So, I know anything can happen. I pray for protection and power, of course. And yet, I’ve lived long enough with God to also pray: “God, you’re growing my faith. I trust you so much that no matter what happens, I know you’re good. I know you’re with me. I know you’ll see me through. I trust you. I really, really do.”
I think that’s a good January challenge:
Thank you, God for whatever’s on the other end of this month. This season. This year.
I’m real because God is so real.
I’ve heard people say, “If this happened, I couldn’t live. I couldn’t believe.” What would shake your faith in God? It’s just helpful to know what you really feel/believe. Then tell God. And let Him continue to build your faith in Him, come what may.