Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Abby Is Teaching Me About Walking By Faith

As is pretty typical in most people’s life, my life is characterized by many uncertainties. Usually I’m ok with that, but sometimes situations present themselves that are just more difficult than others and the uncertainties are just harder to deal with…

I don’t want to reveal the specifics of the situation I’m wrestling with because it involves other people, so I want to respect their privacy, but it’s a situation that will be years and years before we know how it turns out.

If you have read many entries on my blog, you probably have figured out that my faith is very central to my life. It’s funny, those who don’t believe often accuse, those of us who do, as relying on faith as a crutch of some sort…they view it as a weakness. That’s ok, they’re certainly entitled to their opinions, but frankly, I think people of faith are some of the strongest people I know… It requires A LOT more courage and strength to walk by faith than it does to rely on your own strength. I have to chuckle when I hear people call it a ‘crutch’…

Well, the other day, I was wrestling with the uncertainty of the situation I mentioned…I mean really having a hard time with it and I started my usual whining to God. Maybe you know what I’m talking about, those times when spiritually we sound like a child… “It’s not fair…I don’t like it…But why?”

I thought, “God, it’s just not fair, You are the Alpha and Omega…the Beginning and the End, You see everything and You know exactly how it’s going to turn out.” I was thinking that if I could just be assured that it would all be ok, I could walk through anything. But then that wouldn’t be walking by faith!

And I got to thinking about Abby…she is the real life picture of what it means to walk by faith. She walked into a strange room and into the lives of 5 people that didn’t even look like her. We couldn’t talk to her and her sad mama didn’t even think to bring a Kleenex to wipe her precious little nose!

Then everyone who is remotely familiar to her, leaves her to go with total strangers. She is completely dependent on us to feed her, protect her and love her…she has absolutely NO clue where any of this is going or how it’s going to turn out!

Then we put her on a plane and she leaves all that she’s ever known and she ends up in a strange country where nothing is like anything she’s ever dreamed of…

Every single step she takes is a step of faith…sure, some become more routine than others, but because of our lack of ability to really communicate, she often has no clue for sure what’s coming next. Sometimes it’s good…we get in a car and drive 2 hours and have a blast at the apple orchard. But sometimes it’s bad…we go to the doctor or dentist and she gets shots or has her teeth power washed. And whether it’s good or bad, she has no other option but to trust us that this is for her best…all she can do is hope that it’s because we love her and are taking care of her.

But all of that is such a picture of what it means to walk by faith…

We put our lives into the hands of an ‘unseen’ God, really all you have to do is look around and you see Him everywhere, but it takes a while for our hearts to get that…

And then we walk step by step into the situations He leads us into…sometimes the road runs through wonderful, fun places and other times it leads us through great pain and suffering, but all of it leads me to a deeper, more intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father…just like all of Abby’s situations have led her closer and closer to us. And all I can do is trust that the good and the bad are for my greatest good, that my Abba Father is doing what is best for me.

Abby is learning to trust us in the uncertainty. I know it’s not easy… I know she gets angry, scared and frustrated. And I’m ok with that because every day I’m seeing how her trust is growing. And the same is true with our Abba Father…He was ok with me whining the other day…being mad and spiritually stomping my feet at Him…He’s big enough to take it…but He also sees that all of this is drawing me closer to Him…it’s growing me up and it’s teaching me that life just isn’t about what’s right in front of us.

It’s about a bigger picture…as the old metaphor goes, a beautiful tapestry that He is weaving. My Abba Father is the Master Craftsman and I trust that not one single moment of my frustration, sadness, or whatever will be wasted…it will all be part of the process of forming this clay jar into a beautiful vessel for His glory.

To walk by faith can be a terribly scary, bewildering and heartbreaking journey sometimes, but when you know the Potter, when you trust His hands and His plans, it can also be the most amazing that can be full of joy and peace, even in the hard times. I guess it’s all in how you look at it.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The choice I have to make every day, in every situation is whether or not I believe that, will I trust Him and walk by faith?


momto4girls said...

This is definitely a post I needed to read today. Thanks!
AWAA sister

April Isaacs said...

Preaching to the choir here... I read this yesterday and I thought I would share it with you... in the form of a book:-)

Some people would question whether of not faith can be a habit. They are the ones who view faith as some spiritual, ethereal dynamic reserved for monks and mystics. I believe faith can definitely be a habit because, far from being mystical, faith is extremely practical and an invaluable habit to cultivate in our everyday lives.
Simply put, faith is confidence and assurance; it is a positive attitude (which can certainly become a habit) and a basic, foundational trust in God for every aspect of life. Faith empowers us to optimistic and hopeful about what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1) and it forms a habit of knowing that what we can see in the world and its circumstances are not nearly as powerful as God, Whom we do not see.
Faith is a positive view of God and His ability and willingness to help us; and faith always expects something good to happen (Psalm 27:12, 14). Faith believes God's Word is superior to human thoughts, reasoning or feelings and clings to the truth of His Word, no matter what. Believing God releases joy and peace in our lives (Romans 15:13)
When we live by faith, we take life one day at a time, trusting God in everything that takes place. I like to say, "Faith today trusts God with yesterday and for tomorrow." Faith believes it will have grace for tomorrow, tomorrow"

I hope this encourages you in some way.

Praying for you my dear friend!