Real Faith Is For Real Life
"For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete,needing nothing." James 1:3-4
"Do you really have to mash it behind your head like that?"
"Please! Don’t use the pillow as a food tray."
"I beg you, don’t put the pillow between your legs. Fabrics absorb smells, sweetie."
"Seriously, who thought it was OK to put a muddy cleat here?"
"Why is Every. Single. Pillow. On the floor?"
I’ve been drooling over extraordinary pillows for the past year. Yes, there is such a thing as extraordinary pillows. They live at Anthropology, where it smells like a magical forest.
I want them. However, they’re a gazillion dollars.
You can’t always get what you want.
Target came to the rescue with some adorable Anthro knock-offs. So, for Mother’s Day, I pointed them out as, "this would be a great gift from the kiddos" (wink wink).
I see them enthroned on my stained, 11-year-old couch, and smile. They’re pretty. It’s simple as that.
Or is it?
These lovely pillows have awakened some alternate Type A personality in me.
My poor family. Relaxing is no longer allowed. It might disturb the decorative pillows.
I’m being ridiculous. What’s the point of having pillows, if I’m worried they’ll be ruined at the slightest touch?
I’ve found myself asking the same question about my faith. What’s the point of claiming faith, if I’m too afraid it will fall apart when life leans hard against it?
Sometimes I view my faith as decorative. I can admire how lovely it sits on the throne of my existence. However, when the big, dirty cleats of life tread on it, my shoulders tighten. Deep down I question, "will this destroy my faith?" And--if it does--what does that mean about God?
In the moments when I’ve dared to pick up my faith, stomp on it, wrestle it, punch it with questions and bitterness, I’ve realized…
Real faith, is for real life.
And real life doesn’t smell like Anthropoligie. God doesn’t want us to be afraid to throw all our junk at it full force. The faith he gives is not a cheap knock off. It’s the real deal.
Paul tells us,
‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed’.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
If we’re taking our faith along for the ride, it will endure the same refining.
I’ve fallen face first into my faith and sobbed. I’ve thrown it powerfully against my closet doors and cursed it as a liar. But the real lie is in thinking broken faith isn’t fixable.
I’ve lifted my faith up to the Lord--tattered, dirty, horribly misshapen with stuffing pouring out at every ripped seam. I’ve felt ashamed, like a little girl who ruined her new doll by leaving it in the rain.
Look what I’ve done to the gift you gave me, Father. I took it out in the storm with me. Look at this mess…
His eyes are on me.
Sweet girl, I knit you together in your mother’s womb. I can knit your faith back together, too.
And He always does. His healing fabric is durable, His stitch is solidly perfect. He knew the whole time that the testing of my faith would produce perseverance in me. (James 1:3)
I am weak. My God is strong. When I offer Him my feeble faith, HE strengthens it.
Maybe there’s just a frayed corner that remains of your faith. That’s OK. He just needs faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains in your life. (Matthew 17:20)
We must approach God with our brokenness, so we experience him as Healer.
After the battle, our faith proves to be the comforting truth we rest our heart upon at the end of the day.
by Jenna Masters