My Sweet Friends,
I should have learned this lesson by now: If you ask God a question such as, "Am I REALLY like that?" or "Is this in me?" or "Do I have a problem with being 'two-hearted'?" He is going to answer. PERIOD. He LOVES to answer questions like these because He knows there, in that vulnerable moment, is opportunity for growth. It has taken Him as little as 30 seconds (literally I might add) or sometimes days, but He is so good...He ALWAYS answers one sentence prayers such as these.
Spending time with James 1: 5-8 this week was eye-opening. I especially LOVE verse five: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." The "gives generously without finding fault" is underlined in my Bible...I like that part. Every parent I know hangs onto this verse with a tenacity that is equaled only by the stubborn love they have for their child. BUT...and there are many times that very word comes after a promise like this..."But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." This part is not underlined in my Bible.
The beauty of doing a study on an entire book in the Bible is that you see and study it ALL. Even our not so favorite parts. This week as I looked over this very well known verse, I thought of the many times I have begged God for His wisdom, specifically in the areas of being a wife and a mother, sometimes as a friend and even a daughter. My sister, Joni, says that many times a mother finds herself breathing in a lot of carpet fiber. Face planting seems to be a natural position to living life as a Christian wife and mother on this planet. Here's my problem: In the midst of a situation where I have need for wisdom, I BELIEVE...because I need to...I have no where else to go. God is my sole resource in these circumstances. But as I get up off my knees, my faith will ebb and flow with what I see and what I hear. I believe He is working because I see it...my faith soars! I am devastated and disappointed when it looks as if my prayers are not being answered, especially in the way I envision them...my faith sinks like a rock!
So when I asked the question this week, "Do I have a problem with being 'two-hearted' in my faith, Lord?" Within the hour He showed me. Have you noticed that He shows us our hearts when we least expect and in ways we are just not prepared for? This, my dear friends, is the really cool part...it grew my faith when He showed me how "wave tossed" it really was in this situation! Those verses I had not given much attention to because of their "negative" connotation were the very ones He used to BUILD my faith!
I don't want to have a faith that is plagued by doubts, soaring and diving depending on what is happening around me. This gives mere humans and certainly our enemy power over MY faith. In the margin of my Bible is scratched a little note: "Focus your faith on God, not on getting what you ask for." Someone must have given me that bit of wisdom once and it warranted a place in the margin. That thought realigns my faith in the right direction: God and God alone. The truth is I want God's provision in my life. Not just for my sake, but for those who I am praying for even more. And I certainly don't want to be "unstable in all my ways." I am so grateful He listens to quietly whispered prayers even if and especially when the answers pierce the heart with change.
Eight verses into James and already God is working to "grow us up" more in Him so that we can be more effective in our lives as Christ following women. I am so excited! I can't even imagine what more is in store for us in the weeks ahead!!!
Love to you....