Monday, May 19, 2008

Little Steps of Faith

"If we would have great faith we must begin to use the little faith we already have. Put it to work by reverent and faithful praying, and it will grow and become stronger day by day. Dare today to trust God for something small and ordinary and next week or next year you may be able to trust Him for answers bordering on the miraculous." -A.W. Tozer

Since becoming a parent nearly 7 years ago now, I had to learn to trust God in new and more meaningful ways. I will never forget holding my newly firstborn and thinking how very underprepared I was to be his parent --and this after reading every book and magazine on new parenting that was out at the time! Then after my second child, who was born only 15 months after the first was born, there was a new level of faith required. This time, I needed to trust God that He would supply all I needed as I endured sleepless nights with a newborn and the demands of a toddler.

About 9 months after my middle child was born, she and her Daddy took a nasty tumble down the stairs that caused a traumatic brain injury and could very nearly have cost her life. In those moments, I remember crying out to God that I simply did not have enough faith to give her back to Him. But in the end, I came to the determination that I had no choice. And in His grace, He spared not only her life, but her health in its entirety. You would never know now that she had suffered such an injury.

When my older two were merely 3 and 2 years old, our youngest was born. The faith required this time was for my own personal sanity, as I suffered with post-partum depression as I never had before, enduring torturous thoughts from the enemy about the health and safety of all of my children. I had to take very small steps of faith then, as miniscule steps were all I could muster. I had to believe that God had good plans for me and my children, plans to prosper and not to harm. I stood frequently in that promise.

This past year and a half required a new level and type of faith --the faith that is required to move away completely from all you know and into another culture with my family. The faith that is needed when one is lonely and isolated and alien. I grasped onto faith then with the very tips of my fingernails as if I were gripping onto the edge of a tall cliff. I learned in a very real sense that "Jesus Loves Me This I Know" at a point in my life when I have never felt more alone, unloveable, and bumbling.

Now, I am at another crossroads of faith, one that involves as I've written about previously, the provision of a job for our family. This new kind of faith - faith for our very sustenance - has proven difficult for me. In the end, I wrestle with my erroneous theology and find that I do not believe that I should expect anything more from God than my salvation. Hasn't that been gift enough? But He does promise to provide for his children, does He not? The perfectionist in me gets frustrated with my imperfect self in this new test of faith.

But this quote by Tozer (above) reminds me that the steps of faith that I have been taking all along have not been in vain. All of the faith steps above and others that I have not written about but have definitely lived out in the years since I invited Jesus into my heart all those many years ago --all of those little steps of faith--are the very foundation for which I will trust Him for the next big thing. And in the end, may there be something very miraculous indeed. Not the job that God provides, no, but the faith. The faith that believes He can do anything. The faith that becomes sight. And the legacy for our family when we tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.


Between the Trees said...

I always knew those kind of falls happened, but you so hate to think about them. I'm one of those moms who clutches the railing with a death grip EVERY time I go down stairs. My middle name is Clumsy. I was watching my 4yo on the shoulders of her dad the other day and thinking to myself, "she has reason to be afraid!". She didn't like being up there one bit. Yikes! I so don't like being jumpy about stuff like that! I'm so glad your daughter is healed. Thank you, Lord! :)

Annette said...

I have watched you grow so much in the past two years. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves, and from an outsider looking at your life, I would say that you have matured greatly in your faith. We always have more to learn and different situations God places in front of us in which we have to trust. It's definitely a journey that will take the rest of our lives!

The 5 Adventurers said...

Sharing your "faith journey" with you, as you know....And I too can testify that He has proved faithful at every point in our miraculous, unexpected, faith-stretching, and even at times harrowing journey of following Him all over the globe.
Love, p