Testing the Impossible

When Fear and Faith Collide

Eventually I’ll get the hang of this. Maybe…

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OK. One day it may become a habit for me to log in and blog daily. But one new habit at a time.

Ever feel like you set yourself up for failure? I know that I surely do. Repeatedly. I think that’s a big part of the reason I titled this blog as I did; I often feel like having the kind of faith that God desires for me is impossible. And as soon as those doubts set in, I have already failed.

The thing about failure is that it can paralyze us in the same way that fear can. Or maybe it would be more correct to say that the fear of failure is what paralyzes. And when you cut through all the crap – all the excuses, all the platitudes, all the encouraging words of self-delusion – the reality is that fear is practical atheism; it is, at its root, a disbelief in God. I think that that may be the part that convicts me the most: when I refuse to surrender to His will in faith, I am denying His ability – and more importantly His willingness – to keep His promises. Yet over and over again, scripture confirms that He is exactly who He tells us He is, and He can and will do exactly what He says He will do; I can read over and over all the times that God has proved Himself faithful to His word.

And that is really what this new journey I am taking is all about. It’s about letting God prove Himself to me.  Not because I think I need Him to, or even because I want Him to (take my word for it: it’s a lot easier to sit back and say ‘I trust you God,’ than it is to actually  step out and show, ‘I am trusting you, God.’), but because He is asking me to. Follow? It is God who is wanting to prove Himself to me! Crazy stuff, isn’t it? That the Lord of all creation thinks that I matter enough that He is giving me permission to put Him to the test?

I think for the first time in  my life, I can actually understand why Moses made all those excuses. Why Samuel kept waking Eli. Why Sarah laughed, and why Zechariah was made mute. I also have so much more empathy for Peter, who wept bitterly after that rooter crowed, and for Jonah who had decided that death was better than submission – until he realized that the one true God wouldn’t even allow him that escape. I guess that when it comes to failure, I’m in good company 😉

But in all of that, I find hope. Because – with the exception of Jonah – none of their stories end with their failure (and I don’t believe that Jonah died a failure; I am sure that God continued to use him to reveal His will to the people of Israel, we just don’t get to read about it. ). And if God still used these failures to bring about great things in His kingdom, I guess I’m not a total washout. Apparently He still has something He wants me to get done.  And while it may not change the universe, I have no doubt that it will shake up my little world considerably.

So how did the official ‘Day 1’ of my faith journey go? Better than I expected, tho probably not as well as it could have. Instead of avoiding my personal bible study time, I embraced it, and found it to be a balm to my weary soul. I touched base with friends and followed through on my offers to pray for them (hint: if you tell someone you’ll pray for them, do it IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise you are likely to fall into a pattern of forgetfulness.) And at random times throughout the day, I found myself singing praises for no apparent reason, other than I desired to. The flip side is that while I may not have sinned in word or in deed yesterday (and i strongly stress the may not; no action stands out in my mind, but I am the queen of self-delusions), there were several times when inappropriate thoughts or words or frustrations danced through my mind. But again, God is so good; He brought it to my attention on the spot, I changed my heart, and we moved forward, one event at a time.


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