The Thing About Faith
In wading through these big thoughts I stumbled into my faith crisis.
It's probably not what you're thinking. I'm not losing my faith. I'm not questioning all the whys and hows of life but I am questioning the lessons I've been taught about faith.
From an early age, prayer and faith and are kind of lumped into the same lesson. At age 6, you lose your favorite toy and your dutiful, Christ centered mom says, "Well, did you pray about it and ask Heavenly Father to help you find it?"
Huh? Well, no...
But you try it out with the help of your mom and when you're through, you open your eyes and there is the toy. Like magic from some distant land of God, it appears. "That's Faith!" you're told. So, it becomes a pattern. Like all the important things in life, a pattern evolves and with each challenge and trial, we navigate it with our new found tool of faith and prayer. Time and again, it works.
As we get older and the problems a little bigger, the process takes time but don't worry...now they teach you about God's time and how he really doesn't track time the way we do so in HIS time, the answer will come. You stumble along the so called Heavenly time frame and more often than not, the answer arrives in the nick of time, because remember, God is an 11th hour God...not a God on the first watch.
So many rules when it comes to God and Faith...and the rules we thought were unchanging at age 6 just got all switched up into something more complicated and hard. Faith is hard!
Now I'm in my 5th decade of life and the concept of Faith required of me now, has little resemblance to my 6 year old faith. I mean...that makes sense...I've grown, I've seen some things...hard things. I'm done looking for my lost toys. Where do you go with your faith when the magic of it all disappears and waiting on the Lord means you never get the answer? What is the next faith level?
These questions fill my thoughts nearly every hour of every day. For months now, Heaven has been an absentee friend as I search and pray and ponder and wrestle and plead and cry and weep and wail and gnash my teeth and shake my head and even fall apart in humility. I pray more, read more scriptures, do more good and still, the answers aren't there. Is it me? Is it HIM?
I think I'm realizing it's me. With every stage of life, a new version of ourselves is required and so it is with faith. Faith really isn't magic. It's not a reward because we prayed. Things don't always work out, people remain sick, it rains on our parade, frogs remain frogs no matter how sweet the kiss. The faith I am learning to have now is faith in the character of God, his heart, his mind, his kingdom and that is where my trust needs to be. It's starting to make sense.
When we are young, faith is an experience; an enjoyment of blessings realized. Now, I'm learning that faith is a relationship. Whatever God chooses to do, Faith is about remaining with him. Choosing to stay.