A grace-laden word that means so much to a variety of people. And, I’m going to be straight up: I have a tendency to propel into action, rather than riding the seas of the unknown.
The Bible talks a lot about faith, a prime example is in Hebrews when the author, Paul, is beginning a linage of men and women of great faith from the Old Testament, he starts of his list by stating his definition of faith, “(n)ow faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.(Hebrews 11:1)
Unfortunately, his definition of faith has not been totally true in my life. I have yet to see many of things I prayed for, with great, heart-wrenching faith, manifest before my eyes.
My first faith memory is praying for shoes. I was in grade two and they were those jelly shoes that were super uncomfortable to wear. Well, I prayed to get them. In my gentle, naive heart, I believed I would receive those shoes so much, I actually wept for them. I never got those slip-ons. But, a few months later, I actually got shoes that were top-not jelly sneakers. And interestingly enough, I got the runners when I wasn’t focusing or begging for them.
Fast-forward about 20 years later and I’m no longer praying in faith for shoes. But, I am praying in faith for circumstances that are really uncomfortable. Praying for the grief I feel after experiencing losing people. Praying for healing for legs that no longer work like they used to work, leaving me with a lack of mobility and in almost constant pain. Praying for restoration in situations where the people I love, and even myself, have had harsh words spoken against us. And, praying the state of the world. A world that is longing for meaning, a world desperately needing some kind of refuge, a world that is yearning for connection, but on the contrary is in a state of constant fear, judgment, hatred and thinks the solution to this is more external resources. The funny thing about having to have more is that you’ll always have to more. It won’t stop.
So, I wrestle with the tension of my faith-filled prayers and not seeing them take form. But, just like the shoe prayer, maybe God has not answered some of my prayers in my time frame because they were never meant to be answered in my time frame. Maybe, just maybe, God allows me (and some of us) to wait to receive our answers so we know his character more than the gifts we receive. You see, the shoes I received were such a better gift than the shoes I originally wanted. And, I choose to believe that’s how God works: that He makes everything perfect in His timing.