Have you ever been driving down a major highway, happily on the way to wherever you are going when suddenly traffic is halted? Impatience creeps in as you creep on wondering what will be found at the other end of the wait. With an odd sort of anticipatory dread you hope it’s nothing horrible and yet, at the same time, expect there to be at least something tangible to help explain the hold up.
Sometimes, perplexingly, traffic eventually thins out, returning to a normal rate of speed without the courtesy of answering your question. Momentary frustration at the senselessness of this gives way to relief that you are back on track. Other times however, whatever is on the other end of the wait is a collision so horrible that it draws your attention and begs you to look away at the same time.
Each Believer, at some point in their walk with the Lord, experiences a collision between their faith and their life. Everyone has fender benders now and then- those little experiences that cause you to “press-in” and “hold tight” to the things you believe. Difficulties, challenges and obstacles which are uncomfortable, inconvenient and which stretch your faith muscles.
Collisions of faith and life however hold higher stakes-messy, unpleasant, sometimes resulting in casualties. These are the types of life changing experiences when in a moment, everything changes and your whole world is turned upside down. The times when you are faced with everything you have ever said you believed and have to decide if it is really true. Times when you must cling to something in order to survive and must determine quickly what that something will be or you will drown. Times when your brain is filled with “How could this have happened!?” “Why did this happen!?” and then in a quieter more resigned voice within “I just can’t believe this has happened.”
Recently I have found myself in the midst of one of these collisions. That which I have offered to others in their own collision moments seemed fairly futile for the first few weeks. Surviving became the ultimate priority as I struggled only to perform the basic functions of life. Never have I felt so weak, helpless and vulnerable. Never have I felt so out of control.
My life and my faith met face to face and it wasn’t pretty.
The face of my faith has changed. Heart wrenching questions resounded in my heart that begged for answers where none were able to be found. I staggered for awhile in the land of indecisiveness, allowing hurt and confusion to determine the course of my heart and my days. The substance of my faith was all laid out before me so that I could see what was really there and what really wasn’t.
Ultimately I realized there were things I thought I understood and believe that I really do not. On that same token, there are things which I realized were so firm on the inside of me that nothing could shake them loose.
1) God loves me.
2) God is good.
3) God is faithful.
The faith which remained in these three areas have been what have enabled me to survive. As I floated in a sea of uncertainty, waves of anger and helplessness rushing over me, these were the truths to which I was able to cling that ultimately kept me from sinking.
It is critical that we take time to develop our faith in the most crucial areas so that we have something to cling to when we need it most.
Father, I thank you that regardless of my circumstances I am able to cling to these truths. You love me, You are good and You are faithful.