My issue with faith and with the Lord has never been whether or not He can do something but if He will.
I know He can heal. I know He can redeem. He can fix and mend and provide and show up in a million different ways. But will He?
Will He redeem my marriage? Will He offer provision? Will He give you a baby? Will He heal the illness? Will He answer the prayers?
The thing is, I don’t know.
My evangelical faith told me for a long time that if I stood on a tall enough chair and declared things long enough and loud enough that He would. He had to. And then my marriage unraveled, basically in a matter of days. I spent months screaming and declaring and hoping against hope. And then I just kind of gave in to the reality in front of me. That sounds so depressing but it was actually kind of freeing. I found myself in this place where I had to decide to believe God for who He is and not just what He can do.
I had a disappointment this week. I’ve been house hunting for quite some time and I’ve fallen in love with and lost several homes I was trusting God to give me. I got my hopes up (again) and was disappointed (again). Losing a house isn’t the end of the world. But losing a marriage sure felt like it. Losing a baby, losing a job, losing a loved one. Why doesn’t He just snap His fingers and wave the wand and fix the stuff?
I’m still not sure.
I’ve been in Niagara Falls the last two days. I happened to be up this way for work and decided to make a trip of it. This morning was crisp and cool. I grabbed a coffee and wandered down to the Falls and just marveled. It is more beautiful and majestic than I thought it would be. I was prepared to be unimpressed but I wasn’t. I stood over the rail and watched a boat full of people in their red ponchos get closer and closer to the Falls. They looked kind of miserable.
It was cold and wet and they were being blown all over the place. If I only looked at the boat and what was happening to it, it looked like they were caught in a storm in the middle of the sea. I’m sure it felt like that, too. But from where I was standing, when I looked up, I could see the whole picture. They weren’t in a storm at all. They were actually smack dab in the middle of one of the world’s greatest natural landmarks.
How much of my life do I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a storm being thrown all about. A good bit of it. What if all the while I’m just in the middle of whatever God is doing? I know, that sounds really churchy and nice. But, really. What if we changed our perspective to see the beauty that’s on all sides? It may change the way we ride the waves.