There are those moments when faith claims you’ve made seem to fly up in front of you and you have the choice to act and prove they’re true or recant. One moment I recall this happening for me was when I got my cancer diagnosis. All of the sudden all the claims I had made about always trusting God, His constant presence, and believing in healing sprung up in front of me and I had to decide whether or not I would put feet to my faith, the good ol’ “rubber meets the road” cliche. All I could do was try. Put one foot in front of the other and see if God was there. He was.
Another instance that comes to mind was the passing of my grandmother almost two years ago. I have always believed in heaven and eternal life with Jesus, but all of the sudden her death triggered a time to re-think and decide if I really believe it. Do I really believe that she’s there now? Do I really believe that I’ll see her there, that we’ll live forever? I’m choosing to believe what Jesus said…that if we trust in Him we’ll live with him, even though our bodies here die. If anyone trusted Jesus, my grandmother was front in line. I know she’s there with Him now.
There have been several instances in the past few years where we’ve had to literally step out in faith about housing and finances. Do I really trust God and the promises he made to always give us what we need? Do I dare trust and stop being afraid? Will He come through again? He has and he always does.
Most recently the claim I’ve made my whole life that I surrender all to Jesus is looming large in front of me, coming closer every day. It’s one thing to say I’d do anything for Jesus, it’s another thing to actually do it. It’s one thing to say I care about people and want them to know God; it’s another thing to actually stop thinking of myself, make the effort to get to know people who are far from God and lead them back to Him. It’s one thing to say “I’d give anything for you, God, for your will to happen. I want to see amazing things happen for you, in our family, in our church.” It’s another thing to gladly obey and trust God when He requires huge steps out of comfort zones while walking into lots of unknown territory. If I let go, am I sure God will take good care of what I hold dear?
I remember, as a little girl, talking with my mommy one night while she tucked me into bed. We had learned something in Sunday School about loving God more than anything or anyone. I asked her, “Does that mean I’m really supposed to love God more than YOU?” The idea seemed incredible to me. I can still remember how I felt. She smiled and said, “That’s right. You’re supposed to love Him more. It’s okay.” At that time in my life, I wondered, “how is that possible??”
I was thinking today about the time Jesus told his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26) In letting go we are really fulfilling those promises we’ve made in our hearts to God. Sometimes not doing something you thought surely you were supposed to do because God said “sit this one out” is the best way to be a part of his will and awesome plans. Sometimes we have to choose God and His will over something or someone we love. Is He really that important to us? Is He really the Lord of lords and King of kings to us personally?
I’ve said before, as long as we have God we have all we need. What if that were to really happen? What if we truly lost everything but God? Would I still hold to that claim? I would have to because it’s true. God said He had plans for us that are good and hopeful, not bringing despair. Even if I can’t think of what that could be or can’t find an answer right now, I choose to believe Him. There is no one like our God. There is no one like You, God. I have no other like You. Give me the strength to live out my claims of faith. I’m standing on a high precipice, the gaping chasm of the future yawning before me, spreading my arms wide, closing my eyes, and leaning forward, falling to You…please, catch me.