And, the more that I think about Jesus saying, “Do not be afraid, just have faith” to a man whose little daughter has just died, the more I am both amazed and comforted. When I reflect on the many things that are ‘crosses’ in my life right now, none of them can compare with the death of a child. If Jesus could tell a grieving father to ‘just have faith’ when the circumstances seemed so dire, then there is nothing that I can’t bring to him, and nothing that he can’t heal.
“Just have faith” – three little words that can change my life. These three little words are transforming…they effect my attitudes, my decisions, my moods, my past, present and future, the way I live and the way that I love. He tells me, “Just have faith” and I answer:
I’m really worried
I’m so afraid
I’m not seeing you, hearing you, feeling you right now
I have to do something…I have to take control
I fear the worst
And he responds, “Do not be afraid, JUST HAVE FAITH”
And I ask for the faith of a mustard seed so I can move mountains.
No words are necessary with this one……
What an interesting lent this is turning out to be. To all those strong and disciplined people out there, I tell you this in the utmost humility: This year the lenten promise that I made lasted a whole 6 days! I think that this was the shortest thus far in my life!
My lenten promise, what I decided to do, what I thought was best….hmm… and, as usual, God has other plans! Now, I’m not blaming God for my lack of will power (that chocolate was just too good to resist!), but as the days and weeks passed, I realized that there is something to learn here, how can I grow from this experience?
First, it teaches me great humility – I’m not in charge and I am not strong enough to ‘go it alone’. I trip and fall, over my own feet sometimes, and I’m so grateful for the loving arms that always pick me up and hold me as I begin to walk again.
Second, if I am quiet enough then I can hear that tiny whisper which lets me know what I should really be concentrating on. And, it is always gift, pure gift, not deprivation, although sometimes it may sting a little, like the bright light on a sunny day.
So, what is it for me this lent?
I remember the cross….I remember the reason for the cross. He asks me to give to him my worries. Fears that have actually become a part of me. Worries that I cling to. He wants them, He wants my healing, he wants my wholeness….
Now, that’s really giving something up for lent!