“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
Definition: “Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.”
Bear with me, please. Recently I spent time wrestling in prayer over a concern (aka worry). I started with complete trust in God over the situation, then found myself with the mindset—I’ve got to fix this. It came to me that—from Heaven’s view—I might appear to have “schizophrenic faith”. I know that is an oxymoron, but in my life, I have more often looked like Peter before Pentecost than after… “What was I thinking? Why did I feel like that? Why did I act like that?
As a believer in Jesus Christ, when I look at the waves in life, I can begin to sink back into old ways. Then, like Peter (blub, blub), I remember to cry out to the Lord.
There He is. God, himself, shows up with his hand extended once more. He is not huffing at me things like…what were you thinking…why did you feel and act like that?
Instead, what often “blows me away” is the love and undeserved grace extended by that nail-scarred hand.
When I am fixated on solving my own problems without consulting him, I become consumed with worry and—dare I say—a “demonic” drive to solve an issue or “get on a fast train to Georgia.” My powerless attempts threaten to suffocate me and I begin to gasp for the holy air of faith.
Neck deep in “hot water,” I finally get on my knees, bow and ask the keeper of the stars to right my world. And he does.
I am beginning to understand that position is key. Oh, not physically bowing, but bowing my heart and will to His sovereignty.
Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10
“Shut my mouth!” I am not God.
When I try to push against a falling mountain, I need to stop thinking I am the one who can hold it up. I need to stop thinking I’m the one who can change the heart of a prodigal who is straining to pull away from God, bridge the chasm of a broken marriage vow that registers 7.8 on the Richter scale of my heart, or the pain of an incomprehensible death of child or spouse.
My first response is to cave in, like the mountain, then the crushing blow begins to melt me like a long burning candle. That’s when I become pliable and ready to bend. If I rear up in resistance, I prolong the sweet surrender that acknowledges: only God can fix this.
Isn’t that why I felt such joy when I first heard He loved me so much that He sent his only Son to die for all of my sin and brokenness?
My mountain of sin and shame began to dissolve into the hands of Almighty God. My Savior, Jesus Christ, came to rescue me—not just for that moment of salvation—but for every broken moment I will face in my race of a lifetime.
Can you hear the gentle whisper when you bow? Sometimes I do. It is as if His warm, sweet breath is blowing peace over my soul.
This whisper sometimes proclaims loudly when I bow—I Am God, I will be exalted in the nations, and I will be exalted in you.
Wow! If the nations are just a speck of dirt, then I must be smaller than the tiniest atom. Yet, God’s vision is focused on me and my world.
Those who have run the race and are at the finish line (Hebrews 12) know this. They are jumping up and down, waving arms and shouting, “Keep in the race, Don’t quit, you’ve got this!”
It is all true. Jesus crossed the finish line first and He has you in the palm of His Hand.
He will give you what you need to faithfully finish the marathon of a lifetime for His glory. But you have to reach with faith for the baton. Take it, trusting Him to get you over the falling hills of life onto the path of righteousness again. Remember—as New Bailey so helpfully taught, “Faith is not a feeling”. Faith is a choice—no matter how you feel.
Choose to believe…
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Paul was inspired by God to write this. You have God’s word on it. You can—and I can—do all things through Jesus Christ, who will strengthen us.
by Darla J. Short-Lewis