On Wednesday night I had the great privilege of sitting in a room with 300 men and women hungry to grow in their love for God. If that isn’t joy enough, we got to sit under the teaching of Steve Timmis.
One thing about Steve Timmis is that he seems like a crazily well-rounded believer. He’s obviously a gifted missional leader, but He’s also a glorious theologian and, at the same time, a passionate pastor. Neat-o.
He summarized the message of the Bible for us in two words: trust me.
He systematically walked through the history of redemption, explaining how at every turn in the story, God has spoken that same sweet message over His people. Then he reminded us that in every trial and every tragedy, in every red light and every irritating obstacle – big and small – God is whispering to us the same message: trust me.
Since Wednesday I’ve been clinging to those words.
They’ve been haunting me a little bit, chasing me around wherever I go.
I want to trust Him so so much.
But it’s so hard. My flesh and circumstance conspire against me, desperate to prove to me that I’m on my own; that I’m alone in this mess of a life.
I am desperate to have a heart filled with faith in the One who is willing to enter into time and limit Himself to flesh to prove to me that I can trust Him.
I’m weak when it comes to faith. Most days I‘m scared I’m going to wake up in ten years and not believe in God. Most days I wrestle with the suspicion that I’ve just made this whole thing up.
The hiccup for me on trusting God isn’t to do with His character or kindness, it’s to do with the deep dark fear that there’s no God at all.
When I tell people that, their eyes get really big and, no matter how they try to conceal it, I can see the panic spreading across their face.
They are terrified by my unbelief.
I’m so thankful that God is not.
In Tim Keller’s Reason for God He shares this illustration:
If someone falls off a cliff and on the way down sees a branch strong enough to hold them, they won’t be helped if they only note evidence of its sturdiness. They must grab onto it (commit) or they will fall. Even if they have only a small amount of faith in the branch’s ability to hold them, if they reach out and grab it, they will be saved. Only then can they move from probability to certainty. Weak faith in a strong object is infinitely better than strong faith in a weak object.
I have weak faith.
But I have weak faith in a strong object.
God does not fear my unbelief. He is mighty to save.
And just at the moment that I feel my fingers slipping off the branch, I can feel His hand on my wrist, firm and strong; reminding me that “it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Romans 9:16 ESV)