Faith… trust, hope and purpose. As parents sometimes these get a bit foggy for us, we “stay calm and carry on” for the sake of our families, our marriages and our sanity… but occasionally we slow down long enough to notice the waning influence of a once vibrant faith, or an absence of real trust. As we start a new year, no one seriously wants to go forward much further with lives on empty, almost out of fuel and lacking clear direction.
Faith…Following or believing in someone enough to take the risk again to be vulnerable, trusting in something other than us… and buried even deeper is the childish hope that maybe dreams do come true or that our lives do have purpose, meaning beyond mere survival. These are the deeper motivations of the thoughtful and awakened mind and heart. For those no longer content with the day-to-day predictability of our lives, these are the wonderful rich but painful dialogues we have within ourselves. It leads us to really want, to desire, to be hungry for the rest of it. Only we can’t find IT.
Sort of like waking up from the most amazing dream only to be disappointed it was only a dream. Our lives can feel like that…torn up inside, under our masks by the pieces that are missing. By the fragments of our lost hopes and passions, misplaced along the way by the obligations of adulthood and the painful lessons we’ve endured at the pit of pragmatic acceptance.
No wonder we seek so desperately to escape.
We look for love in the lives of others, in novels and movies and songs that describe a world that we could only imagine. We run from one relationship to another trying to find that soul-mate to “complete” the parts of us that seem to be broken. We work an extra 20 hours a week trying to earn that next promotion or raise, believing so desperately that if we could just “achieve” something with our lives,we could make some sense out of the endless cycle of survival.
Into this mix, religion appears. Promising redemption and hope and unmerited love. Our hearts respond, our minds consider and our desire withdraws… suspicious of the cost to believe. When raising a family…its so easy to get caught, torn equally between fear and guilt and in that dual distraction we may leave one really essential ingredient for life behind…
It’s the ultimate question for us all. We all have an equal measure of it, we all have an equal opportunity to spend and invest it in our lifetimes. The painful part is the realization that what or where we’ve placed or mis-placed it, could lead to disaster. Like the memories of an unfaithful spouse or abusive parent, the tyrannical or manipulative boss, the shallow friend who betrays for the smallest of gains. Life and it’s scars build dark walls between us and our hearts. Between us and life. Between us and faith.
Is it time to try again… maybe this time without presumption of failure ahead of time? Is it time to ask for God to come near to you ? Would you be willing to go back to the beginning of your life with God and revisit the places shared and the dreams once held onto. That evening of worship at a summer camp before life became complicated, the day you were baptized. The day of your engagement or the birth of your first child. Maybe it was the darkest moment you’ve ever survived, the loss of a loved one… the biggest failure you’ve ever made, or the greatest regret of your life to date. In all of those moments, you may well find the Lover of your soul there, waiting, patiently for your return.
Don’t give up on Faith.
Don’t allow the pain and the past and foolishness of others keep YOU from the greatest love you can ever know. Yes… i’m aware of the pain of loving and being loved, but this is different. God is NOT like the others in your life, He is not fickle or cliche’ or manipulative. He is not bi-polar or inconsistent. He is steadfast, unchanging and He wants to know you and be known by you.
It’s called intimacy, and it’s one short step of Faith away.
All you need to do… is believe. Believe it could be possible, believe it could be possible for YOU, and then ask for it by name. Jesus… I need you. Jesus, I want to know if you are true. Jesus… come and be with me, inside of my heart, heal my soul and remove the broken and battered spaces that I can’t seem to.
If you sincerely seek and ask and risk to believe… I promise things will change. I believe you will find the elusive lost and ever so precious gift of Faith. Not because you got it all right, not because you made it church every time the doors were opened or make a massive sacrifice to earn the favor of fate . But simply because you dared to get honest and real and authentically asked for help.
Come on… take the plunge, ask for help and maybe, just maybe… you will Find your Faith Again?
Psalm 37: 3-4 (ESV-biblegateway.com)
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.