Angry voices, pitched high outside the window, carry just enough that I realize it is time to intervene. Fingers point, voices raise, anger spills out with tears of frustration. The dog runs free in the field, ears flapping in the wind, smile as wide as the sky, oblivious to the chaos happening behind her. She knows we will come and find her, that we will be here.
A friend once noted to me that it's the behavior in our kids, reminding us of our own sin, which causes us the most grief. So it's when I'm talking with my youngest about attitude and the feelings that say 'I do so much, I deserve my own way!' that I can hear the spirit nudging me to get quiet and listen up because I too, need to hear some correction.
How often I want things my own way? How many times have I become upset at the way things have turned out? Doubting, fearful and listening to a voice of anger and defeat?
Hebrews 11:6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Faith is more than just a Pollyanna view of life which says 'Everything will work out', Faith is more than hoping or praying for a better outcome. Faith is the action of trusting God and seeking Him. It is an act of surrender. I lay down my rights, my desires, my attitude, my hurts, my fears, and ultimately my desire to control, and trust in His will, His right, His desires.
Faith is believing that not only is God my God, but also that God is Good even when it hurts. Even when things seem out of control and messy and I seem to be the only one who can see it? Faith is knowing that God is in control.
Isn't that what I am called to do? Have faith? Hebrews chapter 11 recounts many of the heroes of the faith, the prophets, the patriarchs, and at the very end it reminds me that these people died still hoping to see the promised Messiah.
My head tells me it is cautious, safer, to resist change, to strike a bargain and hunt for a way to stay the same. There is a voice which says faith is for suckers, and you're in way over your head, and if anyone ever finds out what a failure you really are...... and the only way to keep that from happening is to try to control everything and everyone. And if we are really honest, am I really being cautious or is that 'caution' born of a desire to control?
Caution and wisdom are not the same thing. One is driven by the shifting sands of anxiety and fear the other by firm foundation and anticipation of God's faithfulness.
My God is very faithful. My God is you'll never taste death faithful, and 90 years barren faithful, and I'll make you a nation faithful, and I'll walk you out of Egypt faithful. He is even I'll bless you when all reasonable hope of blessing has passed faithful, and I'll heal your hearts and your home faithful, and I'll walk you though fire faithful.
As I think about all the examples in Hebrews 11, the things that God's people endured, I am awed by their faithfulness and stuck by the simplicity of faith.
Faith protected them. Faith protects me.
Anger, jealousy, fear, doubt. all of these eat away at me, gnaw at my faith, and when I embrace them, I can not also embrace humility, peace and faith and God's faithfulness.
We talk about how the dog got loose, and how to be humble and considerate of each other. We talk about how to live in peace and store up wisdom.
And I lay down some of my fears. Fears about being inadequate to the task to which I have been called, fears about change.
I see the promise on the horizon and I walk forward in faith, not knowing if I will ever see that day come to pass, still walking forward towards the promise. It seems so close, like change could be here tomorrow. I place my trust in the One who is Faithful and walk forward without fear.