“I’m getting tired of bravely singing, ‘This Little Light of Mine’. Why’s mine the only light I’m seeing? I guess I expect a little darkness now and then but when did believing in God start meaning you have to move way up north of the Arctic Circle?
“Regarding the whole faith thing, here’s where I am.
“God, I chose Your way for life. I don’t just talk a good ‘Jesus’ line. I live it. You know that. The Bible teaches that You won’t lay on me more than You know I can take. Lately it’s been feeling like You’ve clicked on the wrong icon and got my file mixed up with somebody else’s.
“Luther. Abraham. Joan of Arc. David. Billy Graham. Noah. Martin Luther King, Jr. Maybe that Daniel, the Lion dude.
- When the doctor calls saying, “It’s not good news”. . .
- When the knock on your door is a cop and chaplain. . .
- When you leave your boss’s office holding a 2-week notice. . .
- When your best is stolen by someone else and that person’s worst is laid at your feet. . .
- When you’ve done your best to be honorable, and honest, but unfairly accused anyway. . .
- When your walk with Jesus = a bull’s-eye on your back. . .
- When things are dark and negative when there seems no reason why it should continue. . .
- When your praying feels like it’s being done in a tin box: it jangles your nerves, nothing gets out and FOR SURE nothing gets in. . .
- When your heart-hot questions have reached out far beyond the edge of where your faith has ever been before–so far you recognize nothing. . .
- When you seem way out there beyond anything you can see or feel. You may feel nothing at all. You’re numb. Null. Sort of a vacuum of spirit.
Had to take a walk the other day
Just needed to get out and get away
All alone, God heard me pray,
“Is this what believing in You is worth?”
“( Strains of The Hallelujah Chorus as the line rings… and rings…)
“Hi, this is God. I’m either on another line or away from my desk. Your prayers are really important, so at the praise anthem please leave a detailed message and I’ll get to your request just as soon as I can.”
“Yeah. It feels like that. I’m not being disrespectful. I love you, God, with all my heart and I’ve lived as a Christian so long I’d probably bleed communion juice.
“It’s just that there are times I wonder if You haven’t secretly gotten tired of dealing with me and unfriended me, put a block on my prayers and any outgoing blessings and answers.
“I mean, I’m not asking for everything to just be handed to me. I’m not whining for special favors or pitching a tent in the church yard, refusing to wash and carrying a misspelled sign. I and my family have seen enough blessings to know what You can do. But would it put a dent in Heaven’s Universal Reserve to send a few extra unexpected blessings our way in between all the rejection slips and missed calls?”
Granger, I know you’ve seen God do some amazing stuff. Can you give me something to kick-start my faith again? It’s not doing too well.
I sat cogitating, remembering events and experiences in my own life. I’m guessing you’re doing the same thing. You and I have been where Frazzled is. We’ve each proven the truth: faith that can’t be tested is worthless. And we’ve both likely said, “Okay, God. That’s plenty of testing, here.”
Then I began thinking about all those times God stepped in when it seemed like everybody and everything had stepped out. Call them whatever you like. I call them miracles. Something began to rise up within me like a celestial energy surge. Here’s what I wrote to Frazzled.
There will be miracles.
THERE WILL BE MIRACLES. Count on it. Here’s what I suggest you say to yourself and to God.
Okay. I’ve cast off and lost sight of shore. Definitely in the deep end. I’m so far at sea Neptune’s asking ME for directions. Well, it feels that way. I need some of that ‘Blessed Assurance’ we always sing about.
I don’t hear answers. I don’t feel Your Presence. Fine.
- Here’s where we decide if I’m a little kid or an adult.
- Here’s where I switch back on my light even if surrounded by darkness. There might be a brother or sister in deeper gloom than me who will be drawn to and comforted by this light.
- Here’s where I choose to firmly believe in God and His Word despite my seeing it SO not happening in or around me.
- Here’s when I sing even though the music long since stopped. Here’s where I start making my own music. There may be a brother or sister who’s lost their song and mine might encourage them to get their song on again. And then somebody out beyond them might hear their song and start singing again. . .
- Here’s where I get faith happening again when nothing’s making a lot of sense. Here’s where I start believing again against all apparent odds.
- Here’s when I start remembering how God repeatedly did what those looking on said was impossible.
- Here’s where I start treating God like GOD!
Frazzled, you need to understand: as popularly believed, the Bible does not say God only allows in your life what you can bear. Think about it. If God consistently placed before you ONLY what you could right then handle, would you ever grow? What it teaches is that no matter what challenges come your way, He promises to be right there WITH you. The promise is that IN all the things going on in and around you, He can and does use them all together to produce within you a stronger faith and tougher spiritual muscle.
Frazzled, I want to end with a story. I want you to read it and think about it. Then I want you to do what it suggests. It’ll honor God and it’ll help you—and everyone watching you.
THE BEGGAR AND THE KING
There was once an insanely rich king who for funsies each month let people from his kingdom come in and make requests of him. He never granted any of them. Truth be told, they all bored and amused him. But he kept it up because he loved watching them grovel at the bottom of the steps to his throne. He also loved watching the expressions on their pitiful faces, eager as they came and dejected as they left.
One day as he was getting his jollies by yawning and saying, “NO” to them, a beggar in tattered, threadbare clothes approached. But he didn’t bow and he didn’t grovel. He maintained eye contact with the king. He climbed easily up all the steps and finally stood directly before the intrigued monarch.
“Well”, the puzzled king asked. “What do YOU want?”
Still not bowing nor intimidated, the beggar raised his left hand and, using the first finger of his other hand, began ticking off points as he spoke.
“Your highness, I want half your kingdom, the hand of your most beautiful daughter in marriage, control of all commerce throughout the realm, and enough riches for my extended family to live in plenty all their remaining years.”
It was as if all the air had been somehow sucked out of the throne room. Everyone was stunned and stood waiting for the inevitable.
The king sat there with a strange look on his face. Then he clapped his hands and said, “DONE!”
The entire room exploded with shocked conversation. The court chamberlain bent over the king’s left shoulder and quietly said, “Oh king, meaning no disrespect, but are you off your royal NUT? Do you realize what you just did? WHY would you EVER do that?”
Gazing with arrogant disgust over the meek, milling crowd he said,
“Because that impudent beggar treated me like A KING!”
Frazzled, start treating God like GOD. Consider Who and What He really is. Think about what that means and start making it a reality in your life. I believe things will start to change. You certainly will.
© D. Dean Boone, August 2013