I’m a researcher by nature. I pour over professional articles (and personal opinions from blogs, too) from both sides whenever I am preparing to start something new like raising chickens, Colorado gardening, starting a health and wellness business or when I just need a refresher on topics like food and nutrition.
But, I’ve also been labeled a risk taker. I’ve lived and visited places in this world that most would call scary and unsafe. I’ve sat with orphaned children. Some abandoned because of the rampant sex trade around the world others because their medical needs were just too great a burden. I’ve seen the rejected cast out on the street because they chose to follow the God of the Bible rather than a government system. I’ve sat with college students before and after abortions as they cried in my arms. Our family has embraced strangers who were fleeing from abusive situations. Then on top of all that, we chose adoption with all its unknowns.
Looking back at my life, it doesn’t seem possible that God could and would choose to use me in so many different ministries. I was a person who liked my four walls. I liked to know what to expect next. If left to myself, I probably would have chosen what was comfortable over the great adventure that God had in store for me. But, that was before.
Before faith stepped in and changed me forever.
Faith has a way of growing us beyond our imaginings. It grips us and pulls us into a life far more complicated but ever so much better than the one we plan for ourselves.
It stretches us until we feel like we will snap at any moment and the pieces of who we once were will be scattered on the floor.
Faith moves our feet along a path we would never choose to follow on our own.
It makes us appear reckless to those on the outside.
But, we never snap. We are never abandoned. And each crazy step, grows our faith even more.
Faith leads us to experience intimacy with God. We search out His plan and learn to trust Him over our expectations and fears.
As faith is exercised, it grows in strength. The more freedom we give faith, the less we question and second guess.
We find ourselves agreeing with God more and more. We immerse ourselves in His Word longing to know Him better. The fear and duty factors of Christian disciplines are removed.
Faith leads us to a life earmarked by forgiveness and praise. It makes us less critical of ourselves, our situations, and others.
Faith make us more like Christ. And isn’t that the very essence of what every believer wants to be?
Faith heroes have always inspired me. A small shepherd boy facing a giant. A defenseless, old man thrown into a pit with lions. Three young teenage boys unwilling to bow before an idol. A prostitute who chose to defy her people to help rescue men of God. These stories and so many others leave me with a feeling of awe and wonder.
My faith isn’t always strong. Too many times I’ve declared that God’s next move was just too radical for me. Surely, He doesn’t clearly understand my needs and my situation. If He did, He would never ask such a thing of me. At that point, I begin to rely on my on strength, my own understanding of life, and the end of self-reliance is always failure, discontent, depression, and sometimes, even sin.
There is no excuse for me, as a believer, to live a faith-less life. Not only have I experienced the richness of walking by faith, but I have His word telling me that a life without faith makes it impossible to please Him. (Heb.11:6) I can come up with great excuses for why I choose to live life in a bubble of my own making. But God knows, regardless of my excuses, a life without faith will lead me down a path that is anti every thing God wants for me.
Regardless of my past faith failures, God is calling me to get up and walk beside Him once more. He is pulling me back into a relationship where I fully trust His goodness. He reminds me who He is and whose I am.
And with those beginning baby steps of faith, strength from my Father fills me. I am able to run and not grow weary, walk and not faint because when faith steps in, everything changes.