Maybe it's because I grew up in the desert that the ocean has always frightened me. Actually, I think I'm still a bit shaken by the movie "Jaws." Nevertheless, when other people look at the ocean, they see tranquility and the peaceful lapping of waves. I see a giant roaring death trap.
At the beach, the only way I think my children are safe in the water is if I'm prowling up and down the shore, constantly counting heads.
Yes I pulled them out when there were dolphins sighted. They could have been sharks ... in dolphin suits.
Once I had to leave a family vacation in California a day early to get to She Speaks. I was certain my children were going to die in the Pacific Ocean if my husband closed his eyes for even a second. I kissed them all goodbye tenderly and left with a sick feeling in my stomach. It didn't help when I talked to my husband later that day and he said tongue-in-cheek, "Good news! I only lost one!"
Ha. Ha. Apparently that was pay-back for unnecessary cautions.
Since the day my oldest was born (19 years ago), God has been dealing with me and the issue of faith - or a lack of it where my children are concerned. My worry actually uncovers the deeper issue of whether or not I really trust God. It's easy to say I trust God, but do I really?
You see, I know bad things happen to children every day. Why would mine be any exception to that? Realistic. Yes. But that line of thinking doesn't exhibit faith. It exhibits Eeyore-itis.
Faith, on the other hand, now that is glorious. And it's what defines us a followers of Jesus. It's also what gets God's attention. Here are some scriptures to show you what I mean:
Matthew 9: 28-30, "When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, 'Do you believe that I am able to do this?' 'Yes, Lord,' they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, 'According to your faith let it be done to you'; and their sight was restored."
Matthew 15:28, "Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment."
Matthew 17:20, "He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Read the entire chapter of Hebrews 11 to see how God honored faith.
Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
Finally, where do we get this kind of faith? Can we summon it up with positive thoughts? Can we force ourselves to have faith? Actually, the Bible tells us where faith comes from:
"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17.
Nothing draws the attention of God faster than a person of faith. I think God loves the reckless abandon of reality in favor of full dependence upon His care. Based on what I read in Scripture, it moves Him to action.
Here's the kicker - the person of true faith isn't looking for a way to manipulate God into doing what she wants. She simply trusts God. Period.
If you are joining me today after reading my devotion on Proverb 31 or Crosswalk, please accept my warmest welcome. I hope some of my thoughts today have brought you some encouragement, or at least a smile.
I also hope you'll hang around awhile and read some of my other posts. If you are a writer, read the last post about a scholarship contest for She Speaks. I also invite you to subscribe to my blog - I'd love to get to know you better.
What are your thoughts on faith? How do we get it? How do we strengthen it? What if we lose it?
Post your thoughts, and a way to contact you, and I'll select someone at random to receive a gift basket, including a Starbucks card, the latest book by Naomi Zacharias, The Scent of Water, and cute notepad. I'll announce the winner on Thursday.
In His Love,