I am inching my way through the book of Matthew right now. I feel as if I am standing up close to the spout of a fire hydrant with my mouth open and ready for a drink of wisdom, but reading the words of Jesus is just.too.much. for this girl to take in. It’s like eating pure, raw, straight from the comb honey… so rich, so thick, so sweet. I must take small bites and savor them, marinate in them, think on them…before I can move on to the next gulp of sweetness.
Today, I read the story of the Roman Centurion who came to Jesus asking him to heal his servant. (Matthew 8:5-13) It was quite comical as I was reading the oh-so-wise teachings of Jesus while listening to the wiggles sing “Mashed Banana, Mashed Banana” in the background. But as I kept reading the happy music suddenly faded as the gravity of HIS words hit my heart.
Jesus says to the man, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
Suddenly, my chest became heavy and the matter of my own faith slapped me in the face. (Not something I was expecting!) At first, I was riddled with guilt and conviction. The question hit me; Heather, you claim to have a deep and wide covering of faith, but do you?
Have I indeed abandoned cynicism and doubt? Or do I clinch them tightly to my chest with one hand and then reach for Jesus with the other?
And again, Matthew Henry’s words ran through my mind. “The thing Christ seeks is faith and wherever it is, HE finds it.”
In examining my own faith, thoughts started flooding my mind:
So often my faith is used as a crutch, and not the legs I stand on.
So often my faith is the safety net, and not the surface on which I walk.
So often my faith is my rope to grab, and not the sail I fly from.
Is the faith that I claim to have, the same faith that stops Jesus in his path as this Roman Soldier did? Probably not.
If Jesus called me to follow him while I was mending nets, as James and John were, I’d most likely call back, “5 more minutes Lord… I’ll be there in 5 minutes” because in my mind I would be thinking, “I might need those nets some day”. Having a back up plan is probably not a good way to prove my faith.
Faith is all Jesus desires. I want to stand in the high places and wave my flag of faith as a banner of allegiance, but when I examine my life, I find that I use it for everything else.
– to mop up my spills of sin
– to cover my cold and broken feet from life’s harsh elements
– to wrap around my friends who are bruised and broken
I want to picture my banner of faith as bright, bold, attractive, sparkly… but instead it is tattered, torn, thread bare, dirty.
This thing. This banner. This faith… It is what I bury myself in when my world has crumbled, and it is what I cling to when the walls around me collapse. It has become both my sail and my rope. It has given me a net to be caught in, and a surface to walk upon. My faith is a disheveled heap and sloppy mess; and used, it is.
Faith is so simple, yet at the same time the most complex quality of my life. I don’t “get it”, but I trust it with every fiber of my being. Which leads me to end on this note. The one thing that I am sure of and that I am learning more and more is that:
There is power in Faith. There is power in Christ. And when these powers collide miracles happen.
You can quote me on that. 😉
Thanks for reading friends.