At some point, we all ask the question, what do I do now? Everything we know to do, everything we believe to be right disintegrates before our eyes. At the end of all we can do, all that is left is to surrender our self-sufficiency and beg for direction. Can you believe that those times hold the greatest power, potential and hope? At the end of ourselves, we reach the doorway of faith. Indeed, faith IS the victory that overcomes the world. With all my heart, I believe God allows trials so the miracle of faith can bloom in our lives.
As young parents, we asked those with adult children serving God to give us advice, to help us know what to do to ensure the same outcome. They gave us the humble, ‘right’ answer: “It’s all God. Just do your best and trust Him.” We understood in our heads the ‘rightness’ of their response—but peaceful, confidence in the outcome we so desperately desire demands faith along with our best efforts. While they planted seeds of faith with their words, faith’s development requires time and experience that cannot be rushed. We find it is extremely easy (and common) to be caught up in doing one’s best and totally forget to trust. Yet, our best is but filthy rags in the eternal economy and that is divine design. Faith does not grow in a soil fertilized with self-sufficiency.
So, how do we learn to move beyond ourselves, to enter that doorway of faith? How do we go from mental assent that God is in control to heart-confidence in His wisdom, power and goodness? Simply put–we live and let life unfold. We do everything we know to do and let life show us, our best will never be enough but Jesus never fails! The trials of life—whether in parenting & family life, or career or health—help us understand that we are but created beings needing the Creator to bring life into our brokenness, our lacks and our dying souls.
When those times of trial come:
- praise God for who He is…for His goodness, His power and His desire to deliver.
- Release the end of the story to Him knowing His plans are always perfect.
- Set your course by what will bring God the most glory.
- Take the next step in faith by acting on the scriptural truth you know…and if you don’t know one, open your Bible or seek the wisdom of a godly friend.
- Ask God to show you the most purely loving action available and do it!
- Relax in the knowledge that if you choose a wrong step, He is bigger than every mistake.
- Finally, watch for the miracles to unfurl.
The stretching times of life develop our faith…they bring the knowledge in our heads down into our hearts. We learn more of the greatness of God by seeing our inadequacy. As long as we maintain control and stay on the pre-planned path, there is no need for faith. Christ said eternal life is this: knowing the Father and one whom He sent. (John 17:3) We cannot know Him until our self-centered, self-impressed blind eyes see our need. When we do know Him, the next step holds no fear.