Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sink or Swim; Outrageous Faith

How often have we read or heard stories of old saints that had a strong unwavering faith – and when they prayed, miraculous things began to happen? Stories like those of George Mueller,  who prayed food and milk in time and time again for the orphans whom God had entrusted to his care – and throughout his life cared for, and made a difference in the lives of over 10,000 children…but only through his great faith and trust in God’s provision; like the great reformer, John Knox, who wept over Scotland, and it is purported that Mary, Queen of Scots, that wicked murderous  queen of Scotland said of him, “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than any of the armies of Europe”; or, the prayers of some little grandma or grandpa who became burdened over a some situation, and they prayed until things started to happen.
We look back at these stories, and more often than not, we bemoan the sad lack of faith in today’s generation, we say, oh, we need more people like that; we hear of the dying of some old saint, and our heart are saddened and we think to ourselves, we can’t afford to lose any more of these old saints…or, I wish we could have a few more with faith like she/he had.
Or, we say halfheartedly – or even somewhat sincerely – Oh, if I could only be half the man/woman he/she was!
And we go on our merry way, saddened because there’s a little less faith in the world…that can never be replaced.

Or can it?

What if…
What if WE are supposed to be the ones that have so great faith – what if God is expecting our generation…or maybe…no, surely not... No, God couldn’t be expecting me to be that one – that saint whose prayers make all of Heaven stand up and take notice. Because,  I mean…really. That’s preposterous – what would even make you think such a thing? Me? That’s so silly. I could never have the faith that they had!

Can’t you? Can’t I?

Or is it that we just don’t want to have to put in the work? Or maybe we’re too scared – scared of what people will think, scared that maybe we’ll have the faith and…it won’t happen.


What if…what if He really does expect US to be THOSE people?
What if He expects us to have faith like Peter, when he saw Jesus coming toward the boat through the storm – faith that will say,” Jesus, I can’t swim; the waves could pull me under in a second, but I’m not content being here when you’re over there…I’m tired of sitting here wringing my hands in despair…I’m jumping out of this boat – I don’t know if you’re gonna teach me to swim, or let me walk on the water, but either way, even if I go under, I’m going trusting you.”
 Faith that appears to be outrageous – that can look a medical professional in the eye after he’s just told you, “We’ve done all we can do – your child will be dead within 24 hours”, and say – not out of arrogance or denial, but with complete conviction because you’ve been in touch with the Great Physician, the Creator – “No, he won’t. Go back in the room, and check again – he’s sleeping, and the wound will heal.”
Faith like Job’s  – even if the outcome isn’t what we prayed for, faith that will trust that God knows best, that can look the circumstances in the face and say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”, and, “I know that my Redeemer lives”.
Faith that can say with confidence, “It’s going to happen”.
Perhaps in that hard thing you’re going through right now, God is whispering, “Now is the time. Let go and trust me to take care of it.”
Perhaps, if you’ll just let go and trust God to catch you…maybe, just maybe, He will?
You see, you can’t swim as long as you’re hanging on to the side. You may know all the principles of swimming, but it’s not until you let go and trust that buoyancy will take over that you will begin to glide through the water.
A baby bird can never fly as long as they stay in the safety of the nest. Sometimes it take the mama bird pushing them over the side before they ever get out. Sometimes they fall to the ground…but it’s not until they leave that their God-given instinct takes over and they begin to flap their wings- and eventually to fly.
You’ll never soar until you get out of the nest.
Perhaps this is your time.
My time.
Time to let go, jump out, and let the thing that threatened to kill you be the thing God uses to give you victory.
Time to develop your own faith – instead of leaning on the faith of someone else.
Maybe it’s time to stop being content with being “half the man he was”, and start asking, like Elisha, “Give me a double portion of what he had”.

It’s time.

Outrageous Faith. That’s what we need.

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