Yesterday I told a little bit of my faith story over at Rachel Held Evans’ place, and I concluded the post with the admission that faith is a conscious choice I make every day. Faith is not a natural state for me. I don’t have faith like I breathe. I don’t have faith like some people have faith, ingrained on their hearts and woven into the very essence of their being.
I wish I could say that belief has become easier for me. I think most of you who read my blog regularly would assume that is the case. But it’s not.
Don’t get me wrong. I look and listen for God, and I see and hear him every day. Not only that, I also believe in my heart that I see and hear him. Yet I still question, I still waffle, I still wonder and doubt that it’s all real and true.
I realize that’s a contradiction: that I say I see him every day in one breath, and then admit that I doubt he exists in the next breath. But that’s the way faith is for me: ebb and flow, surge and retreat.
Lately I’ve wondered if perhaps I’m just too darn analytical. Just this week I gave myself a tough love talk. “Get over it, for crying out loud,” I found myself thinking. “Stop all the foolishness, stop all the waffling and questioning and vacillating, and just believe. Once and for all just believe.”
The next day, I read a devotion by Richard Rohr, entitled “The Time is Here”:
“Salvation is now…it’s called the always-available grace of the present moment. It’s the first word Jesus preaches: 'The time is now! The Kingdom is present and here. Turn around. Believe the Good News' (Mark 1:15). In these four phrases we have the summation of all of Jesus’ teachings. It’s nothing esoteric or pseudo-mystical, just the infinite nature of now. Just let go and let yourself fall into it. It’s a net you cannot fall out of. You are seeking what you already have. You have been knocking on the door from the inside.” (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations)
And then, if that weren’t enough to seal the deal, I heard this in today’s reading from the Gospel of John:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1).
What’s interesting about this verse is that I’ve always heard and read the NIV translation: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” In fact, that’s the verse I memorized and carried with me all last year. But the ESV translation – “Believe in God; believe also in me” – that I heard today is new to me.
Only a single word is different from the NIV to the ESV: believe. And that single word makes all the difference to me.
I love it when God gets direct with me. He knows my waffling nature. He knows my questions and my heart, my belief and disbelief.
He knows me.
What is God speaking to you lately? Has he ever had to get direct with you?
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