I was reminded today how so often our faith is like that of Thomas, in John 20:24-27, who wouldn’t believe unless he saw and felt Jesus’ nail wound scars. I know in my own life, there are times when it seems as though I have great faith, faith to move mountains, faith that doesn’t doubt, faith that is not shaken by life’s challenges. Many times, God grows my faith by showing me something, by lighting my path and by affirming in different ways. I was reminded once again about the silence and what it takes to believe when we don’t see and hear God. There are many times in life where God doesn’t show us the next step, and we are trying to trust the best we know how, but often think it would be nice to have a back plan, a plan B. He reminded me today that He alone is plan A and in being that, we don’t need a plan B because we know that His plan A is perfect. It reminded me to not just go to the trophy room and remember all that God has done, but it also reminded me that I need to have a right view of my Abba Father, the one who dearly loves me and who has placed plans and dreams deep inside me. He is good, He is loving, and that Never Changes, no matter what comes my way. In verse 27 Jesus invites Thomas to reach in and touch his scars; he then says to him, “be believing, not unbelieving.” We all face that same choice when we don’t see the “proofs” of God working on our behalf. I often have to ask myself “am I willing to sit with the unanswered questions?”, “am I willing to trust even when I don’t see”. Do I remember that His character never changes, that He is good, that He is love, and that more than any other, he’s got my whole life in the palm of his hands? I think of Peter too in Matthew 14:29-31, getting out of the boat, he starts to sink; Jesus grabs him and says “Peter why did you doubt?” After all Jesus was right there, less than an arm’s length away; He’s even closer to us, dwelling within each of us. We all have our Peter moments in life when we wonder if God is going to come through. Is he going to catch us? Does he really know what He’s doing with my future? Looking back now at my own life, I can see where Jesus asks that question “why did you doubt Robin?”. Have I not always come through for you? Am I not God, the creator of the universe? Did I not form everything about you in your mother’s womb? Remember how far you have come and all that you have overcome; that was me helping you. Remember that my love does not change. Trust me when you don’t see because you know I am good and you are secure in my love. Do you really think I am going to let you drown? Believe when you do not see, believe when you are at the end of your rope. Fear is just gonna paralyze you, and Satan is just going to lie to you; you know better than that! Be strong and courageous, I know what I am doing. I have come to make all things new, even your bad choices that you think are too far for me to reach, I got those too. After me and God had this little discussion today, he spoke to me as He often does; He gave me a song on the radio. I’ve never heard it, but I know it was him speaking to me; he was reminding me that we all have these doubting moments, even great worship leaders like Chris Tomlin. Sure, who wants to admit that, but blessed are the humble I think. Do I wish I never doubted, yes, especially looking back at all the times God has come through. I’m Ok with doubt b/c I see Peter and I see Thomas, and I find I’m in pretty good company. Heck, if those who walked with him, watching him perform miracles had doubts, I guess my doubts are OK too. I know they build my faith, I know they draw me closer to my Abba Father, and my beloved Savior Jesus, I have peace, joy, and righteousness in the Holy Spirt, even in the middle of my silent times with God. It’s in those silent times, that I choose to trust that He is working on things. Results don’t always happens in an instant as we would like, but it takes faith to wait and trust in what we cannot see. So as I wrestled today with what I cannot see, God reminded me of his love and goodness. So Father today, as Chris Tomlin Sings, “I lift my hands to believe again…” I do believe, and I thank you for reminding me of your great and uneding and unfailing love for me today and forever. Forgive me for doubting you when I do not see, and grow me now I pray that my faith would arise, that I would be still and know that you are God in every part of my llife. I love you and pray all this in your beautiful name, Jesus. Amen.
This week, after a year of wavering, I took another step of faith and became a member of the church God has leaded me to. I wanted to share a story of encouragement that is actually in 2 parts, because I couldn’t remember a song when I first shared this with some people. So I hope you are encouraged in your walk and your faith is strengthened as I share this.
I wanted to share how Awesome God has been in my life today. As you know, I shared how I was going to stand in front of church with the new membership class today to be officially welcomed in as members. It was kind of a big deal for me after all God has done to get me to this point. One of my consistent signs from God as I have journeyed to Wooster Church of the Nazarene, Seminary and now NTS, this past year have been birds flying in the sky with their wings spread open. ( I think they are hawks, but I am not sure), anyway, there have been times of crying out to God in the valley’s, as well as shouts of praise on the mountain top, and every time I cry out in a deep need, doubt, or praise, He shows me the birds soaring with their wings spread, which is always a reminder to me that He is near and He will raise me up on wings like Eagles, which also renews my faith and strength when I see them (Isaiah 40:31). Well, today, on my drive in to church, I had asked God once more out of my sheer nervousness of taking this next step of faith, and “sealing the deal” if you will, by becoming a member of the church. As I got closer to the church, I was anxiously looking to the sky for my sign. At one point I ran into an accident that made me take a detour, and it was at that moment I stopped asking for my sign, and starting praying for whatever happened on the road, that an entire fire truck would not even let cars get close; I started counting my blessings and realized I have no reason to worry; and feeling a bit selfish for asking; after all, God has been so faithful, with this and other signs continually along the way, so I had really no need for a sign. Later, after church on my drive back home, God showed me the bird in the sky, with it’s wings spread wide. I wasn’t looking for it, but He blessed me with it. As I continued to drive, other concerns came into my mind. As I flipped the radio channels and heard the same song that I heard when the first bird flew over my head, I also saw another bird with it’s wings spread out soaring around some other birds that were in the sky. At that point I lost it, I started laughing, then balling like crazy, because not only did God affirm the direction of my life at that point twice, but He was showing me how much He loves me and I was once again assured that all my faithfulness, sacrifices, and efforts to live for him are known and that He does have such a wonderful plan and purpose for my life. I thought I’d be daring and ask one more time, and sure enough several miles down the road there was one more bird with wings spread out that flew over my car. At that point I stopped asking and realized how faithful God always is. My faith was strengthened and I am so excited to continue to see what God is going to do with me. There are so many unknowns, but I have such a peace that God is going to do something awesome with me. So next time you see a bird soaring in the sky think of me and say a little prayer. I hope and pray my story blessed you and encouraged you today as you too journey on the path God has set before you
I was thinking that I wanted to share the song I mentioned in my last post, but couldn’t remember it. Ha, it was on my ipod, I didn’t even know!! I wanted to share it with you, because God used music A LOT to speak to me, and this is another song that he spoke through. The link has the words; the song is called “walk on the water”, there is a line about stepping out in faith and walking on water in faith; Well, when I was in my great tension of coming to Wooster Naz. for good, I had read the book “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat”. by John Ortberg, and The Holy Spirit had been prompting me for some time in this same way. So now, it’s like it’s all coming full circle, again!!!! To hear that song on my drive home 2x’s with all the birds soaring, WOW!! I wish I could tell you all the amazing things God has done with me, it’s AMAZING! And to lead me not only into the Church of the Nazarene, but to Wooster, where I have had so many God-encounters, and the sheer fact that it is an hours drive, it’s all God ordained, it’s very cool. I hope you enjoy the song.