And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (Mark 4:40)
I have lately been posting status updates on FB like this: "I am so glad I don't know the future." Life brings so many questions to my door. Part of me would really love to just know what the future holds and act accordingly. The other part of me is more thankful that I don't. :-) Why is this? Well, jest set down for a spell and I'll tell ya. :-)
If I knew the future, I would likely try to change it.
If I knew the future, I would act abnormally.
If I knew the future, I wouldn't be able to love people.
If I knew the future, I would hate myself.
And most importantly...
If I knew the future, I wouldn't trust in God.
Over the course of the past months, so many new experiences and situations have leaped up and presented themselves to me. I don't react well with change, even if it's good and something I love. So, I turn to God.
It is there that I realize something about our relationship. What makes it healthy? What makes God happy? What makes me a stronger, more faithful person? Yes, He wants us to cry unto Him when we are frightened and uncertain. Yes, He appreciates that we don't turn our backs on Him. But what parent doesn't admire a child who gets back up after tumbling down for the 300th time? Children face the new world on wobbly legs and a courageous heart, taking their first steps eagerly. They have no idea about the rough spot in the lawn just ahead of them. They have no idea that Legos really hurt when you sit down hard. They have no idea that they might hit their head on the cupboard door and get a goose egg. Interpretation: they don't know the future. Yet, they wobble on until they wobble no longer and the Legos are their friends :-)
Yesterday, the thought crossed my brain that I've been using God as something to blame things on. Analogy: I've been clinging to Him in fear and not willing to take those first steps. I've been "having faith" but not honestly walking in faith. I've doubted my strength and God's grace and love towards me. I have been approaching decisions weakly and without heart.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (James 1:5-6)
Me over the past week: "Um, God... like, I'm really happy but really, really scared and I really don't know if you know what you're doing, but um, if this is what you want...tell me why again??" Is there faith, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, love, etc, etc, in that? No. It is fear, a little anger, hopelessness. Where is my heart? I know God is standing right beside me. There is no room for fear!
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Oh yes, I am still approaching life with caution. My legs are still wobbly. :-) But with more joy and more faith... and different kinds of prayers. The "thank you, God" kinds of prayers. He has promised to accomplish a good work in me and I know He will. There will always be pain and uncertainties but they will never be too much for God's children. He has promised this.
So, not knowing the future, I walk away from my fears. My legs are still weak but my heart is learning courage and strength. There is more happiness and joy than I thought possible.
For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
(Proverbs 3: 26)