There are times when I find myself wondering whether my faith is enough. Will it sustain me through the rough times, the times of adversity? Did I have enough of it in me to believe that when I go through discouraging times, I will be able to keep my head above the water of overwhelming pressures? That, when I have hurdled one mountain and reached its summit, I won’t feel disheartened when I see yet another mountain to conquer? That, when I run the race of life, stumble and fall, my faith is sufficient to get me through the finish line and not feel like dropping out of it in the middle of the race? Tha, when there seems to be no certainty of the future, I will remain calm, steadfast, and not be frightened of what it has in store for me?
It’s always a bit scary to take a peek into the future. It’s so easy for our human minds to conjure an imaginary trouble and allow failure than to forecast success, to anticipate defeat than victory, and to want assurance of winning before going into battle. Such is the default wiring of all human, yours and mine. But what we don’t know is, while it seems we are always frightened, we all unknowingly have faith deep within us. We sit in chairs with confidence knowing its legs will support our weight. We ride cars, trains, jeeps and cabs with full belief that it will take us to our destination. We fall in love trusting that the person we give our hearts to won’t break it. But where that faith is placed is what makes the difference.
Casting Crown’s song said to praise Him in the storm. In the middle of one, we all know it can be difficult to praise and have faith in the Lord. We find ourselves asking this question: “How do I do it when I am overwhelmed with my fear of the winds? How do I not feel like drowning when I am called to walk on water?” It’s so easy to feel dejected and question God’s care through a storm. I did in the past and sometimes I still do. Sometimes find myself seeking assurance and proof from Him. “Is it really You, Lord? “Will You really help me pull through?”
If you find yourself asking the same questions I ask, it is a clear indication that during such times our faith is placed somewhere else. Where? In our emotions, in ourselves. I know this because when I look back at the many storms I have weathered, I keep finding myself in the following patterns:
- When I put my faith on the circumstances around me, instead of Christ who is telling me to “come…” and walk on water, I find myself sinking. My unstable emotions towards storm–fear, worry, anxiety, pressure– deafens me. I find it hard to hear and be attuned to His voice and His command.
- When I am there feeling out of breath from all the water drowning and rushing in on me, and I call out to Him, He is instantly there. When Peter said “Lord, save me”, Jesus stretched His hand and caught him. All it took was Peter asking. In retrospect, every single time I prayed He is always, always there– arms outstretched.
- The times I asked Him to calm or take away the storm, not wanting to weather it out because I felt tired and overwhelmed, I was being egotistic. What I failed to realize during those times was, every time the Lord brings me right smack in the middle of one, He is not punishing me but is actually out to test and develop my faith and wants to demonstrate His faithfulness.
You would think that saying all these, I have mastered the art of trusting and of faith. I haven’t. Faith is something I know I will never stop learning about. But what I have learned so far in this journey, is when my faith is placed in the Lord and not in my own strength, there is far less room for doubt and fear. And when it threatens to surface, I look to Him, first to Him and only to Him. I keep in mind this question, “He has carried me this far, why in the world would I even doubt and think He will pull me down now?” When my circumstances seem bleak and I feel discouraged, I pray. I seek counsel from my friends and ask them for prayers. Because I know that discouragement is the devil’s tool to pry me open and get into my heart. It is being used- on you and me- all the time.
In the storm you and I may be in, let’s keep in mind that where our power and strength end, His begins. In our battle against fear, worry and discouragement, know that the Lord sees us fighting it and let’s praise Him amidst it all before anything else. He applauds this fight against such negativity and harbinger of faithlessness. He looks upon us with favor each time we worship Him in the middle of our trials and tests. No matter how imperceptible such steps may seem to others, know that He sees us and applauds us like a Father does to a child taking tiny steps towards Him.