I worked all throughout college, but sometimes I still found myself broke. That would lead to a fateful call to my parents, mostly my Dad. I HATED making that call. HATED IT. Even though I KNEW he would always deposit the funds into my account (most times way more than I needed), we always had to have a discussion about it.
What did I need the money for? What mistake did I make? Did I work hard enough to cover my financial needs? Why didn’t I save money? Why wasn’t I more responsible? The interrogation (in my mind) was brutal. It got to a point where I was afraid to even call him. What if he says no? (He never did). Why do I have to go through this process to get something he KNOWS he’s going to give me? My pride and fear tricked me into stopping by a quick loan place one day. I was going to show my Daddy that I was responsible and could take care of my problem on my own without his questioning. Y’all, I started reading the fine print and interest rates… I balled that application up and quickly reached out to my Daddy.
Isn’t this very much like what we deal with when it comes to our faith? We want the end-result but we don’t really enjoy the process much. We look for a shortcut instead of the journey that gets us to our destination. If you’re like me, you pray for a miracle that will help you leap under/over/around the problem vs. moving through the tangled mess. Lord please just move the mountain, don’t make me climb it!
That’s the thing about life and many of its challenges—it’s messy and hard. It looks tougher than you imagined it would be. Fear will tell you that you can’t overcome it or worse that you shouldn’t have to do all that work to get what you want. Look, nobody wants to experience disappointment, pain, unfortunate circumstances, loss, rejection, failure or whatever negative emotions. But, as Mrs. Rosa Mae said in Faith Beats Fear, “Trouble comes to knock on everybody’s door. Ain’t no sense in dressing up, pretending like disappointing things are only meant for other people. No, they’re yours too.”
Hebrews 11 recounts pivotal moments of faith found throughout the Bible. By faith, so much was accomplished. The writer jumps from Cain, Noah, Abraham, Sara to Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses, Rahab, Gideon and David. When these stories are told, we tend to revel in the victory and disregard the battle. Between those lines of success, you read about people who were afraid, uncertain, praying constantly for things they’d yet to see, unjustly persecuted and tempted. They lived in a messy world that would spark fear in the greatest warrior or believer.
Take a closer look at Hebrews 11:33-34:
By faith, these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.”
To overthrow the kingdom, somebody had to stand up to the king.
To rule with justice, someone had to make tough decisions.
To receive a promise from God, somebody had to ASK.
To shut the mouths of lions, someone had to enter the lions’ den.
To quench a flame, somebody had to approach the fire.
To escape death, someone had to face a potentially fatal situation.
To get strength, somebody had to be weak.
Here’s the catch. These people didn’t (and you don’t) have to do any part of the process alone. No different than my father, our Father provides MORE THAN ENOUGH support. My father wasn’t trying to make my life more difficult. He wanted me to be humble enough to ask for help. He asked me all those questions to push me to think and develop into an adult.
You have to make a decision to act and go through it.
During the process, purpose and opportunities unfold; you will grow, learn to trust, gain patience and become the you you were always meant to be.
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