Same job, different uniform.

Friday, December 21, 2007

On Faith

As long as I've been a born again Christian I have thought faith was believeing in God. Which I do. It's not that hard. I mean, really, there are not many Christopher Hitchens out there, are there? I don't think I can name anyone off the top of my head that I know, who believes, as the American Atheists do that "nothing exists but natural phenomena (matter), that thought is a property or function of matter, and that death irreversibly and totally terminates individual organic units." Arguably, I think, most people believe there is a God. Maybe they don't believe in the Trinity, or the resurrection, but probably most humans the world over believe in some entity with a force beyond nature who exerts some sort of otherworldly power at will.

So then true faith is beyond that. It is believing that God will do what he says he will do. It is believing that he is good. That his purposes are good. That he will protect you. And that is a much harder beast to wrestle to the ground.

The other morning, out in the dark cold, playing with my dog and saying prayers, asking God to give me the strength to be the better person I don't want to be, to give me the grace to let go of bitterness, to protect my children, to give me the wisdom to raise them to be loving men and warriors besides, it occurred to me that I do not have that kind of faith.

I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I accept him as my Saviour. And there are some things that I can and do release right up to him. But there are quite a few I do not.

Though I think I hide it well, I do not let go of bitterness easily. I can go around muttering under my breath about personal slights or injuries for YEARS. I believe God gives wisdom, but you have to be receptive and I'm not. My own will and desires carry too much weight.

But the biggest struggle I have is believing that God is always going to protect my children. They are healthy, happy little boys. They don't want for anything. They are surrounded almost daily, and I mean literally, by loving family and friends. But there are many, many, many children who it seems were thrust out into this world without even the barest protection and no love at all. And I wonder: "Why are mine so blessed?" The blessings God has showered on my own children shakes my faith in his goodness because it seems so random and I wonder if it will end for them and how.

I know in my head that I need to let this go. I should stop worrying if the baseball bat under our bed would be easy to grab and wield should someone break into our home. I should be okay with sleeping with our door closed and not worrying if the dog can see the top of the stairs and how fast she could make it to an intruder before he entered my kids' rooms.

So, while I have faith that there IS a God who is part of the Trinity and who died for my sins and who loves me, I do not yet have faith IN him. I am guessing now that only prayer will get me to this point. I have thus far not managed it on my own. I want to feel that joy that can come without happiness. I want it to be well with my soul.

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Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Thank you for bearing and sharing your soul with us.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your plight is the same as mine, just different. As a child of foster care and still orphaned as an adult, I see people loading up their cars with Christmas gifts on their way to mom and dad's house.
I cannot help thinking, 'why, God, why them and not me? Didn't I deserve a family?'
I do have a family though, it is His and I am adopted but eternally. Regardless of the past abuse I endured during childhood, I am as blessed as any and more thankful than most!
I think we all question the sovereignty of God. The hardest part, you have mastered. That is realizing the question is lack of faith and that provides you with an opportunity for repentance. What could be more blessed than that?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blogger JEB said...

Laura, I appreciate the comments. I will put you in my prayers. It is so painful to think of a child watching other happy children being loved while he/she is not. I can hardly bear to imagine it. I do not know how I would fair if I did not have my family. But because of that I do not rely on God like I should and so I do not know him like you do perhaps? Surely there is a special place in God's heart and in heaven for children who are mistreated.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blogger girlfriday said...

I love this post because it makes me feel less alone. I didn't know you struggled with this, at least not at this level. I'm going to read and re-read this and thank God that we all share similiar experiences in our Christian walk and can hopefully comfort and encourage each other.

I have to tell myself over and over that God is good and is worthy of my trust. That He is not is, I'm convinved, one of the biggest, most effective lies of the enemy.

I love you!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Not one of is better than the other and He did for each one of our own sins!
Where one of is better, the other is worse and vice versa! There is nothing I love more than the bride of Christ, which is His visible Church on earth!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

died, I meant died. :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Blogger JEB said...

Girlfriday, you are not alone.

Laura, if ever there was evidence that there is a God and that He is good it must be the fact that you who grew up with so little love is here comforting those of us who grew up with much.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


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