My New Favourite/Least Favourite Question

I recently came across this question that has messed with me every since:  What are you doing right now that requires faith? 

To expand on that, what are you pursuing in your life that you could not do without God’s help?  What are you trying that scares you – but is letting you learn to rely on God in your fear? I love this question.

And I hate this question.

I love it because it is important.  As a Pastor, I frequently hear from people I love things like: How can I grow closer to God? How can I grow in my faith? How can I hear from God?

They are all questions of faith, and they don’t have easy answers.  However, there is one thing that I do know: Faith is like a muscle – and it grows by exercise.

When I look back on my own journey, the times that my faith grew the most were the times that I actually had to use it.  One time was when I gave more money than (I felt) I could afford to help someone, and got to see God provide for me.  Another time was when I was thrown into doing a new ministry that terrified me – and it forced me to pray and lean on God a whole lot.  Another was leaving my life and family in Newfoundland behind and moving to Hamilton to go to Seminary because I was pretty sure God was telling me to go. Last summer I got to exercise a lot of faith as I prayed for my two nephews in their hospital beds after a serious accident.  I was pretty annoyed at God that our family was going through another painful journey as we had lost my sister just two months before, but I am thankful that my faith muscles were strong enough to help me say “God, I will keep trying to trust you.” Now I see that I could use those “faith muscles” because of all the times that I had used them at other hospital beds, other trials, other moments where faith was needed.  They’d had the opportunity to “exercise,” so that, when I needed them most, by God’s grace,my faith muscles were there.

What are you doing right now that requires faith? 

I hate that question because it challenges me.  I don’t know if I’m doing much of anything right now that I could say I wouldn’t be able to do without God.  Of course there are the obvious things like just getting out of bed each day, putting one foot in front of the other, and keeping two children alive – I know I need God for all these things – but I know I am generally pretty comfortable right now.   Comfort is nice, but seeing and knowing and feeling God work is even better.  I know it because I’ve seen it before.  So I’m asking myself that question, and praying for help to be uncomfortable so that I can go deeper.  It is, quite frankly, a little scary. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

What are you doing right now that requires faith?

Each of us will answer that differently.  For some of you, it will take great faith to trust God in the hard situation you are facing. For others it will take faith to give more of your resources.  For others it will take faith to get up in front of people and share that you have chosen to follow Christ as you are baptized (we’ve got four people doing that this Sunday – and they are using every faith muscle they’ve got to talk in front of you all.  I can hardly wait to see what’s next for them!!). Some will stretch by praying out loud – others may preach a sermon. As we know about all forms of exercise, muscles not previously used are easily stretched by what may seem to be small activities to an experienced athlete. Likewise, an athlete needs to be pushed to try harder things to enhance their strength. That’s why this question can be answered in so many different ways, depending on where you are on your journey.

What are you doing right now that requires faith? 

May this question  profoundly mess with you in all the right ways!

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