Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Weaving a Basket of Faith

“Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4).

One Sunday our pastor spoke on the Old Testament story of Moses and the basket that his mother Jochabed made for him. In faith she wove this basket to hide him among the reeds, hoping that the life of her son would be saved from Pharaoh’s death edict. Her basket ultimately saved not only her son but the entire Israelite nation as well when Moses delivered them out of Egypt.

I began thinking about my life of illness and pain and how it has affected my faith. When I first began dealing with these issues, my faith was quite weak. I doubted God’s wisdom in allowing many difficulties and disappointments. The faith basket I began weaving was very small – barely large enough to grasp during my times of turmoil – but it kept me from totally sinking. As I have continued on this journey with God over the years, my weaving skills have increased. I still have holes of weakness, but the weaving is tighter and my hands are tougher now than when I began. Through the years of suffering this basket has grown. It is still not large enough to keep me from falling out every now and then, but it keeps me afloat through the rapids and waves that pain and suffering bring.

Just as God used Jochabed’s basket of protection for deliverance from death, He is using my basket of faith for deliverance from my fears, discouragement, and hopelessness. Every aspect of my life is an opportunity to enlarge and strengthen this basket, provided I am willing to keep weaving. Many times I become tired and want my basket to be finished. One day it will be done. This basket of faith will carry me right to the shores of eternity, and I will go from faith to sight – into the arms of God. Until then, He and I will keep weaving.

Prayer: Gracious God, give me the strength as well as the desire to continue weaving and walking this life of faith, trusting You each and every moment until I see your face. Amen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Waves of Doubt

“When he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6).

Our family has always enjoyed the beach. In years past I loved riding a good wave in to the shore. On our last trip however, things were different. I tried swimming out in the ocean but was sucked under by a wave. I tried standing in the water but the strength needed to maintain my balance was too difficult for me. I spent the remainder of the trip looking at the ocean rather than being in it.

Many of us may know the sensation of being pulled under and tossed by a breaking wave. It can be frightening as well as dangerous. When I doubt or question God and His faithfulness, I may experience similar feelings. There are countless times when I am worried, anxious, fearful, or discouraged about my health or circumstances. I pray for peace or guidance but then continually dwell on my concerns, not leaving the results in God’s hands. This causes unnecessary turmoil within me, and I feel blown and tossed by the waves of my emotions and doubts. God will bring about what He has planned and give me the grace and mercy to handle whatever may come. I need to leave my requests with Him rather than continually taking them back.

On those beach trips years ago, I not only enjoyed riding a few crests in to shore but also swimming out beyond them to float on the gentle waves. That is where I need to be now - lifted up on the peaceful swells of faith and trust, rather than dragged to shore by the crashing breakers of my doubts.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the faith to totally trust You for what is happening in my life and body, for You do not speak and then not act.  You do not promise and then not fulfill (Numbers 23:19). Amen.