I’m listening to John Hiatt’s Have a little faith.
It reminds me of my favorite moment in my favorite show. An athiest character appeals to God to in a moment of desperation to prove Himself; to ‘show him something!’
We all have moments when He does. He answers us in the splashiest and most obvious of ways. He delivers us from the darkness around us.
And we chalk it up to coincidence. And we forget.
Then a moment comes where there is nothing but silence from the skies and once again, we wave our hands heavenward, fingers wrapped in a tight fist and we ask why He never responds to us; why He always fails us.
I was running once, through the hills of a small village in France, and the sky grew dark and there was no one around me, so I stopped in the middle of a field. I stood and tilted my face heavenward and as the rain began to fall on me, I poured out my heart to Him.
I begged Him for a miracle. It didn’t feel like a huge one. In that moment, I wasn’t asking for Him to make dead hearts alive and I wasn’t asking for Him to heal the sick.
The miracle I needed was cell phone service.
My father was dying a few miles away and I was trapped in a house with nothing but my thoughts and I wanted to be able to receive a text filled with truth from a Christian. I wanted to be exhorted to believe that God was with us.
I wanted cell phone service.
And in His infinite wisdom, He denied that request.
And I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t bitter. I was just deeply shaken. Why would any God refuse such a simple and seemingly Biblical plea: the request for community to point me to Him in the darkness?
It was just a moment. I got over it. Looking back, I believe that He answered that prayer in His own way.
But that moment is always there now, always crouching, just behind the fence of faith in my heart.
Most days, I feel His Spirit, standing watch at that fence, standing ready to defend. But this week – it feels left vulnerable and exposed and I can sense the doubt making a move to creep over the walls.
And I tremble. Because doubt is not a joke to me. It is not a game.
The possibility that He’s not real or that He’s not who I think it is does not cause me to shrug and sigh.
It causes me to tremble. There is no world for me without faith that my sweet Jesus is real and with me. There is no life for me if He is not who He says He is in His Word; if He cannot be known and touched and believed.
Today, this doubt reminds me what this blog is for; why I started it and why I teach and why I work for the messiness of a local church.
I want to spend every last ounce of my soul and every drop of my life sharing truth that builds faith.
It is always safe to share your story and throw out questions and wrestle publicly. It is never safe to claim that there are answers – non negotiable and firm and steady – to these questions we all have.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to share my story and throw out questions and wrestle publicly but only if it moves us closer to the glorious security of answers that we can bank everything on.
I want to be used by God to answer the prayers of girls like me – on the hillside in France – who just need someone to take their face and say:
There is One God.
And He is Holy and right and true.
And He will judge the living and the dead.
And He will wrap His own righteousness around those who call on Him.
And the ones who He will look to are these: the humble, the contrite – the remorseful, the repentant – and those who tremble at His Word. The ones who refuse to make peace with unbelief. The ones who scramble and plead for more faith the guard the fence.
The ones who will look to the seemingly empty skies and remember that He has shown us something.
He has shown us a Red Sea – parted by the power of His Word. He has shown us a pillar of fire leading His people in the dark. He has shown us provision raining down from Heaven. He has shown us mercy and grace. He has shown us Himself: wrapped in flesh and filled with humility. And He has shown us a promise that we will see Him again: no longer lowly, but exalted and strong and fierce and tangible.