Sunday, September 1, 2013

How Much Faith Does it Take?

The thought of moving to Haiti has not always been something that excited us.  There were times that it brought great excitement, but more often it seemed a source of anxiety.  We found ourselves wondering, "How much faith does it really take to be a missionary?"  We felt that God had stretched our faith a great deal in the past five years.  He asked Gami to leave the military, cutting our income in half.  Then he moved him to another new job, only to ask him to leave that job too.  Again, this cut our pay in half. While people stood by and said we were foolish or rash, we were simply trying to follow God's plan.  Then he asked us to move to a developing country with our four children.  This was definitely a stretch for us.  We prayed about it, sought the counsel of countless people, and decided not to come. Then we realized in November that God was indeed telling us to come.  So we agreed, and prayed that He would show Himself faithful.

Have you ever asked God to prove Himself faithful?  It almost seems a foolish prayer to me, as I look back on my prayer.  The very name of God is the essence of faithfulness.  He has never been anything but faithful.  How could I expect it to be different now?  Yet, I find myself looking at God over and over and almost begging Him to be faithful.  I feel He must look at me and wonder when I will finally have the faith that He desires for me to have. 

As we look over budget weekly, plan events, and just try to live life here in Haiti, we are desperate for His provision and guidance!  We continue to move forward in obedience, trusting Him to be faithful.  Yet, He stretches us to His timeline, to His plan, and to His glory.  Oh, if only I could grasp that fully!  Then perhaps I would not doubt and I would have no need to ask Him to be faithful.  Instead my time could be spent praising Him for His guaranteed faithfulness.  The enemy loves to make us doubt, but we know that we must carry on.  God will provide.  He will guide us.  He will take care of every detail.  We must be faithful in obedience to glorify His name, and He will work it all out in His timing.  Ok, got it...my head knows it...now if only my heart would follow behind. 

You see, so many think that missionary families must have immense faith.  We must be closer to God, hear his voice more clearly, and be filled with joy each and every day.  The truth is, we are just like everyone else.  We are struggling, asking for His faithfulness (even though our heads say that is foolish), and hoping that He will carry us through.  I sometimes envision myself walking tensely forward into a dark hallway, not sure what might happen.  I want to force my eyes shut for fear that everything is coming crashing down, but I know I must keep them open to see where He leads me. So I keep on going, though I am not confident yet.  One day, I pray I will be confident.  I will stop asking The Faithful One to be faithful.  It seems comparable to asking a bird to be a bird...how foolish!  How could a bird be anything but a bird.  We would never think to even ask it to be a bird, for we already know that is exactly what it is.  I yearn for the day when my faith reaches this level, and I do not ask God to be what He already is.  Instead, may I praise Him for it all the more.

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