Sunday, April 12, 2015

Shaken Not Stirred

Unshakable faith is a product of a faith that has been shaken.

There is pain in this world that I hope to never suffer. Pain beyond the physical realm. Or maybe pain that isn't supposed to be physical but is so hard to comprehend that it manifests itself that way. 

I have felt pain. I have witnessed unspeakable pain. I have sympathy. I have empathy. I have carried anger and denial. I have nightmares that can't come close to pain that others in this world have faced. 

It's easy to sit on the side lines coaching people through their pain. Telling them things about God's plan and how it might be better this way. Talking about how there's a reason for it. Helping the only way we know how. Because everyone carries their own pain. Everyone heals in their own way, at their own pace. But we are fixers somehow; at least we want to be. 

That's what I am. A fixer. I want to have the words that are profound. Words that have the power to erase the pain of the world. Unfortunately, those don't exist so more accurately, I'm a wanna-be-fixer. A failure at fixing. 

I have a tendency to avoid the sad Facebook pages. Especially the ones with sick kids. I can't bring myself to read their heart wrenching stories. Knowing all the way through that I can't help. That this pain is beyond fixing. I see the likes and shares from them and immediatly say a prayer. 

I know that I can't fix it, but my God can. 

My faith is far from unshakeable. There are things that could, would, and do shake my faith. Sometimes I fear it crumbling. 

We can all strut our Christianity and faith around and talk about how we wouldn't ever question God, but the fact is...we are human. We are continually failing God. We always have faith when it's easy. But when things get hard... when the pain that shouldn't be physical makes us feel like our insides are outside and our heart is truly breaking in pieces, are we always so faithful? 

I'm not. I get angry. I want to know why. I wonder why the pain is necessary. I want to have a tantrum and ask God why He saw fit for this to happen. It isn't always my own pain that makes me want to have that fit. Sometimes it is someone else's pain. Sometimes it's the shape the world is in. 

I am firm in my faith. I am not swayed or scared of sharing my faith. I am not easily shaken, but I am not unshakable. I pray that when the faith shaking moments find me that God will protect me from that storm. That He will hold the pieces together even when I might not think I want Him to. He has always held me together, I have no doubt He will continue. 

I have friends that don't share my faith. Words about God's plan are nothing more than words to them. I still tell them that I'm praying for them, because to them, it means I'm thinking of them. It isn't necessary for me to insist that they believe with me. It is necessary for me to keep my faith and continue my prayers for believers and non. 

Sometimes we just want to know why God would let this happen. And we ask. And we demand an answer. And the people that don't have faith ask the hard questions...where's your God now? How can you love a God that lets these things happen? And those questions shake your faith even harder. And in your grief there's not a good answer, only shaking. 

For those of us holding faith, we often ask God why. We often wonder how He allows the pain in our lives. We are human. I don't think that asking the questions means our faith has failed. We are still talking to God. We are still believing in His word and grace and mercy. We just want to understand. 

When our faith is shaking we are looking for the solid rock on which to stand. 

It's human nature to think that if we understand we can accept and move on. Our minds aren't able to comprehend some things. They aren't meant to hold all of the knowledge. What would we need faith for if we could see all that is to be seen? 

Sometimes when it seems that God is gone or that He doesn't care, He is reminding us that our faith is what bridges us together. Taking a step beyond the pain, even if you can't see the where the path is going, is what rebuilds whatever faith may have been lost in the quake. 

Unshakable faith isn't something that comes from a life without pain. It isn't a product of never asking God why. It isn't very common and most of the folks claiming to have it, haven't been shaken to their core. 

Unshakable faith comes from faith that has been shaken. It comes from a faith that has been built on a solid foundation, reinforced by God Himself. 

None of us know what tomorrow holds. We can't see or understand the future. But we have today. We have now. We have the opportunity to pray for those who are hurting, to pray for their faith, and to pray that when we feel that rumble....that we can see past the pain and our faith stays strong. 

We don't need knowledge or understanding. We need mercy and grace. We need a faith that can be held together. 

Faith shaking events are inevitable. They are bound to occur. Build your foundation on The Rock that is unshakable. Your faith may shake but your foundation is solid. 

If you are hurting and feel the quaking. I am praying for you. If you feel desperate and confused, pray with me. If you feel like you've lost everything find your foundation. And if you don't have a solid one. You aren't too far gone for God.