Thursday, April 17, 2014

In Which Believing is Seeing

I wonder sometimes how much that statement, "Seeing is believing," really hinders our sight.

And how that concept keeps us crippled in our disbelief.

There are times I find myself praying things like, "Oh, Lord, help me to get this house in order," or "Give me wisdom in my parenting!" Lately it’s been, “Help me to get motivated to exercise!” I pray these almost in my disbelief of achieving what I pray for. And quite honestly, my disbelief is rooted in simply not wanting to do what I don't feel like doing to get there. Yet, even as I pray, things don't just begin to happen in my favor. No matter how I look at it, I actually have to take action.

Sometimes I think we expect God to do the work for us or at least send down a lightening bolt to get us moving in the right direction when we pray for help, but He never seems to do that. We still have to discern, make the sacrifices, begin the process, and go through the pain of the work.

Oh, I can just hear us stubbornly crying out like the Israelite's, "Look at my life (or this house or my body)! It's a mess! You should have left me where I was. Where are you, God? Don't my prayers mean anything? Are you even there?"

Yet God didn’t take the cup from Jesus either.

One of the most difficult times of my life was a time in which I cried out to God everyday to rescue me and yet I walked that difficult path for seven years of my life. Believing is difficult when all you're willing to see is your lack.

But like the Israelites, we have to go through the uncomfortable process of the journey because it’s on this journey where faith is tested, lessons are learned, restoration takes place, and hope is found.

And it’s the pain Jesus endured and his ultimate death that has brought us life-everlasting.

The process of that seven years for me now is irreplaceable. The depth of who I am today came from that valley and still I see that I never walked it alone even when I felt the loneliest.

In time, God completely delivered me from that difficult season–delivered me in much the same way he delivered the Israelite's, after 40 years in the wilderness, to the Promised Land. And I never went back. When you arrive at your promised land, you don't turn back to slavery.

God never said He'd do the work for us. He said He'd walk through our mess with us. He's waiting for us to put our faith into action, by putting one foot in front of the other, so he can begin revealing for us miracle after miracle along the way.

Maybe we're waiting for the guarantee, the proof that running this race will be worth the effort and, until we have that, we'll remain in our disbelief and go no where.

But, do we see to believe or must we believe to see?

To arrive at a promised land–the place full of His promises for us–we absolutely have to believe God is capable of taking us there. Belief requires faith, because faith is assurance of what we cannot see. And faith requires action or it is dead.

When we step out in faith, that is when we begin to see all of the possibilities open up, the impossibles becoming possible, and we realize the blessings were never meant solely for the outcome in the first place. They were meant for the process all along.

We simply can't wait for the guarantee. We must believe before we will ever see the blessings, the rewards, and the miracles along this process of pressing on toward the goal in life.

Whatever you are going through, He wants to take you to your promised land. But it's going to take a little faith, a little action, and possibly a lot of pain. But oh, the rewards will be heavenly!

"...blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

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