sometimes faith seems easy. when the end of a circumstance seems far away, it seems like God has all the room in the world to move. faith is strong. exciting even. God has spoken and you are excited to see what He does!
but when the time draws close to the end and God has to show up or all is lost…then becomes the true test of such faith.
i think of abraham. dang. his story gets me. every. single. time. there isn’t a time that God hasn’t wrecked me with his story. and so many times my life has felt parallel to his experiences. but i wonder what faith was like for abraham on the way up the mountain to put his only son, that God promised, on the alter. did he have a ton of faith for God to show up? was he excited to see what God would do? was he terrified?
what’s interesting to me is that he and sarah are listed in hebrews 11 in this chapter of people with great faith. so maybe you assume that they both always acted as if they had such faith…but it isn’t so. abraham at one point thought he would help God along by getting his wife’s handmaid pregnant…enter ishmael. and when the angels told sarah she would have a child, she laughed.
so surely there was a war raging in abraham’s mind all the way to the alter?! right? maybe. maybe not. definitely a question i am going to ask him when i meet him! but check this verse…romans 4:18-21
In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
i don’t know how it works. he believed against all hope but he sure messed up along the way, trying to “help” God with the promise, yet he is called faithful. he was ready and willing to give it all up because God asked him to place issac on the alter.
i look at my life and wonder if i do the same thing. there have been many a times i have tried to help Him along in the things He has promised. sometimes it feels like He forgot what He said. sometimes there is excitement for Him to show up.
and then sometimes the war rages as you fight to hang on to the truth of who He is regardless of every circumstance. where you must maintain that God can and will come through, even when it doesn’t look like what you thought it would or when it would. sometimes faith has to be held on to as if your life depended on it. sometimes He chooses to show up when we think He’s late.
i can’t help but think of the Chronicles of Narnia when i think of this topic. lucy is talking to mr. beaver and she asks if he is safe only for mr. beaver to respond:
Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.
there i can rest. there i can slumber. there i can know that if it all goes completely awry, i’m still in His grip and He still isn’t finished. because being in the center of God’s will is rarely safe, but He is always good because He is in fact the king.
when all is said and done this is what i know: i’d rather be in an all out sprint after Him and completely miss it than be “right” by any other means.