Growing, strengthening faith. That’s what I think I am experiencing in this season of my life. It’s almost like I can feel my faith getting stronger. And here’s the thing–nothing about my circumstances are “bad,” nor would they be considered “difficult” by most, and especially compared to many others. But the good news is there isn’t a scale showing at what point on the difficulty scale that one can count on their faith being strengthened.
We each have something that is stretching us to believe more, trust more, take another step on our journey. I hope. Rarely is life easy and calm. When it is, we can praise the Lord and ask Him to make sure we don’t forget about our need for Him during the seasons of little to no challenges. The steps I am taking on my walk with the Lord are ones crying out for me to persevere and take the long view at every turn. And, well, I am just saying that based on where I am on my journey with the Lord, I have more of a belief in Him and more of a trust in His promises than ever. I’m glad about that!
This morning I was reading in Exodus 15-17. The Israelites had just seen God powerfully move in Egypt as He showed Pharoah and the Egyptians His great might with the ten plagues. They were there when Moses, by God’s great power, parted the Red Sea so that they could walk across on dry land. And they were praising His great name, praising Him for “gloriously triumphing” over the Egyptians.
And then they complained because they were thirsty and the waters were bitter.
So God made the water sweet there.
And then they complained because they were hungry.
So God fed them. Every day.
And then there was no water at the next stop, so instead of BELIEVING God for what they needed, they complained and grumbled. Again.
Moses used his staff and struck the rock, as God instructed him, and then water came out of the rock. Exodus 17:7 says, “He (Moses) named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying,
‘Is the LORD among us, or not?’ “
Seriously? They were still wondering if the LORD was among them…or not!?! And yet, I have done this same thing too many times to count. When my circumstances don’t seem to be going the way I thought they would be….”Lord, are you with me, or not?”
When that prayer I have been praying for a long time seems to be going unanswered…”Lord, are you with me, or not?”
When everything that could go wrong in a day goes wrong…”Lord, are you with me, or not?”
When finances just aren’t there…”Lord, are you with me, or not?”
Or maybe it’s my past that replays in my head and my shame causes doubt about the Lord’s presence and care for me…”Lord, are you with me, or not?”
It’s not a question I want to get stuck on. We have got to be a believing people that move on from that trip-up question. I am sensing in my heart and soul that I am moving on from that question because I am BELIEVING the promise of God that He never leaves me or forsakes me. That He sees me. That He loves me and knows what is good for me. That He causes all things to work together for my good because I love Him. Instead of looking to circumstances to change or people to change, I am looking to the Lord and praising Him for being with me no matter what I am going through.