Day 2 - Man in the Mirror - continued
So tonight, I went to a church that in the short time I have been here, I have already grown to love. When I first went to check it out, it was with the intent of "crossing it off my list". I wasn't really interested in attending another "mega-church" as I had in the past. (So big, they have 4 services per Sunday!) Instead, what I experienced was a worship team that led me into the presence of God, and a pastoral team that unashamedly teaches the truth from scripture, and illustrates it from personal experience. Wow!
So why do I bring this up? Because the current theme has been the book of James. We've been studying it for three weeks, and haven't even left the first eight verses of the first chapter! Ok, for those of you who are unfamiliar or may not remember, it goes "Count it all joy, brothers, when you encounter various trials..." (Notice he doesn't say if? Darn!) And then it goes on to talk about how trials produce patience/endurance and that it should have its perfect work in us, etc, etc. Ooookkkkaaayyy....so how? Well, that's the funny part. You'd think that it would be by somehow magically conjuring up more faith, right? At least, that's what I thought. But no. James goes on to say that "He who lacks wisdom, let him ask and it will be given abundantly..."
Okay, hold on just a cotton-pickin' minute! Did he just switch subjects or what, 'cause I'm lost. What does wisdom have to do with enduring trials? I'm glad you asked so I don't have to feel like the only dumb one. ;-) Well, interesting thing. Pastor pointed out that the AMOUNT of our faith has very little to do with anything. After all, the Word says that "faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to move mountains..." and I don't know if you've looked at one lately, but a mustard seed is pretty darn small. So if that's the case, why is faith such an issue for most people, including yours truly? Because the issue isn't the amount of our faith, its the object of our faith. What do I mean? Simply that God and His will are what we are putting our faith in, right? So if we know Him, understand His character and His will for us, its easy to trust Him, right? I mean, why does a young boy jump off the top step and yell half way down "Catch me daddy!"? Because there is not a doubt in that little boy's mind that he will! He knows his daddy loves him, does not want to see him hurt, and loves to play with him. In his mind, that's all he needs to know. Case closed. Daddy will catch me. So why do we struggle so much with trusting our heavenly Father to "catch us"? Because the reality is, we get caught up playing religion and we do not really KNOW Him; His character; His love for us. Ouch!
Okay, so where does the whole "asking for wisdom thing" fit in? Simple. We are asking for Him to reveal His will to us and His character. Contrary to popular belief, knowing the will of God is not that hard. In fact, He promises that if we ask for it, (wisdom) that He WILL give it to us. The bigger question is, are we listening? Do we know Him well enough to recognize His voice when He speaks to us? Oh, ouch again! His is the still, small voice so easily drowned out by the cares and distractions of the world.
So Father, I ask your forgiveness. Forgive me for doubting; for trusting what my eyes see instead of seeking your Truth and trusting what your Spirit tells me. Please forgive me for complaining. Thank you for your patience with me. Please help me remember all the ways in which you have cared and provided for me in the past, and teach me to trust in you and your divine will for my/our future. Please continue to reveal your character to me as I learn to walk in the paths you've already established for me. I thank you that our children rest safely in your arms tonight. I thank you that you already know what needs to happen to reunite our existing family as well as the bridges that must be crossed to join with these two beautiful daughters who eagerly await a father and mother to demonstrate your love to them. Please protect them and watch over them, fulfilling not only their physical needs, but their emotional needs too. Please equip us physically, mentally, and spiritually to be everything you have called us to be to these two beautiful girls. Teach us to love them unselfishly, the way you've loved us, and knit all of our hearts together with yours. I love you, Father, and my heart safely trusts in you. Amen.