Monday, June 11, 2012

A Struggle of Faith


This week begins the countdown to vacation.  I really need a vacation.  I need to step away from this life of mine for a short time to really look back and try to reflect as to where God is leading my family.  To be honest, I am not sure.  I am not sure when we will move from our condo and if so to where.  I do not know if we will be moving closer to my current job, finding a job near where I live, or something I really have not even considered.  God has blessed my wife and I so much over the past year, and we feel ready to move forward, but we just do not have a direction.  I am in a situation that is way too large for my feeble mind.  In fact, I would normally be trying to figure out how to make something work out, but in this case I do not even know what needs to work out.  I am completely blind and ignorant as to where God is going to take us, and for me it is a struggle.   The best thing to do is to turn to the Word and to prayer when in times like this.  This is what the Lord is speaking to me today.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; [he is] a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  James 1:5-8 NKJV
This is both a promising passage and a hard passage because it gives a promise but also a condition on that promise.  God promises to give us wisdom anytime we ask and to give us that wisdom liberally and without reproach.  This promise, though, only applies to those who ask in faith.  If you ask in doubt, God will not answer.  If you ask in faith, God will answer. If you are asking and God is not giving you that wisdom, then the problem is with your faith.  I know that is hard to hear, it is hard for me to hear, but God does not break His promises leaving the only the option of not asking in faith. 

So why will God not answer those who ask in doubt?  First of all, there is no point to it.  Why would God answer if you are going to doubt the answer?  God wants to answer, but, more importantly, God wants you to act on that answer.  What point is the direction and wisdom of God if you do not act upon that knowledge?  Just as the Word says, those who doubt are like a wave of the sea tossed and by the wind.  There is no direction, even if given by God.  God will give an answer, circumstances will seem to contradict that answer, and we will begin to doubt the answer we received.  What began as an earnest desire for wisdom has morphed into an "I know best" situation.  What I mean is that God will tell us to go in one direction, we see some circumstance that makes us think we should move in another direction, and we question God's direction trusting in the perceived reality of that contradicting circumstance over the clear direction of God.  We question God's wisdom or our ability to hear that wisdom and may end up changing direction or moving in no direction at all. 

And perhaps that is where I am now.  I have such a hard time letting things go to where I am not trying in some way to figure things out.  But when did I begin to doubt?  Was it originally with the plans to move north?  I was never fully invested in that idea.  Was that the Lord holding me back or was it my own flesh?  And even now, when I see the property values down where I live and how much more house I can get for my money, I need to wonder if that is my flesh or if that is the Spirit.  I think I really just need to hit a "Reset" button and begin this process anew.  I need a fresh start to seek the Lord without self-conceived ideas and maybe a few days away will help.  The fact is I am in a place where I do not know anything.  That is probably what I need because I can not even pretend to have any of my own wisdom to rely on.  So, please pray with me that I might finally find this clear direction that I so earnestly desire.  My hope is to just be home.  Not home in the eternal sense, but in the earthly sense.  Not that this is my own, but it is my home-for-now.  Right now, I still feel like I am straddling between two worlds without belonging to any one of them.  I just want to be in one, live in one, belong in one, and feel home in one.  I want to be a husband who is not too tired during the week or too busy on the weekends to just sit back and enjoy life with the beautiful wife that God has provided me.  When God does give us children (another prayer), I want to be a father who can spend time with his children and not be caught up in a prohibitively long commute.  That is my hope and that is my prayer.  God has spoken James 1 to me, and my response and my prayer is also one from Scripture. 
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"  Mark 9:24 NKJV

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