I thought that I had faith, I really did. Over 13 years ago when the doctors told us that our first child would die in the womb it came as a real test of my faith. I probably couldn’t spell faith then, but what little I did have was tested and I came through it ok. God told me “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”(Romans 8:28) and I took Him at His word that this situation, regardless of the outcome, would be used for good. Then over 4 years ago Sandra was pregnant with our third child and while he was still in the womb, the doctors told us that our son would be born with a bilateral cleft lip and a bilateral cleft palate. Again there was nothing we could do. We weren’t as concerned about the lip, it would only be a cosmetic issue. Our main concern was the palate and his ability to eat and speak. We didn’t worry, though. We prayed for his palate. Prayer worked before. When he was born, the nurse ran her finger across Will’s palate and announced, “The palate is perfect”. He did have a bilateral cleft lip and my first thought was, “God, why didn’t you heal the lip, too?” I immediately felt in my spirit the answer, “because you didn’t ask”. Well then.
That was then and this is now and now, I’m not so sure. Fear and worry are invading the spaces where faith once held its ground. What am I worried about? This economy and its effect on my ability to provide for my family. I’m self-employed and business has been way down and I’m worried…really worried. It’s quite perplexing. I didn’t worry about whether my unborn child would die, yet an income shortage has transformed me into a worrying, mean, ugly beast. Why? Actually, I think the answer is quite easy. With my kids, it was all out of my control. I couldn’t do anything, but pray. In this case, I can and must do something…but what? I can’t just pray and lay around the house eating Nutty Bars and say, “ok, God, do your thing.” The fact that I have to take action and my family’s future is in my hands frightens me. Where is my faith?
I shared this with my white, shiny Reebok wearing brother in law, Joel and he said immediately, “You haven’t lost faith in God. You’ve lost faith in yourself.” Bazinga! Who would have ever thought that a white, shiny Reebok wearing middle aged man could be so insightful? Then he reminded me of Moses’ little bout with self-confidence. God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and plead for the release of Moses’ people. Moses tried to convince God that he wasn’t the man. Somehow God had dialed the wrong number. Moses doubted himself. He didn’t doubt God. God was speaking to him through a burning bush. How could he doubt God? I’ve seen my own burning bush with a healthy 13 year old daughter who the doctors said wouldn’t survive her first few weeks of life…that’s right, life. Life in the womb is still life. But he was right. I don’t doubt God. I doubt me. When Joel reminded me of Moses, I went back to Exodus 3 and reread the account. No, I didn’t think, “Hmm, Moses and Pharaoh, that’s Exodus chapter 3, right?” I had to Google it. Anyway, I was struck by verses 11 and 12. God just told Moses what to do and in verse 11, Moses asks God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” I love God’s response in verse 12. “I will be with you…” Did you catch it? God didn’t tell Moses who he was or what he was. He could have. He could have told Moses that he was a stuttering, murdering fugitive, but He didn’t. He told Moses that He would be with him and then through all of Moses’ objections, God told him what He would do. He didn’t list all of Moses’ qualifications to succeed at the task at hand. He just said, “I will be with you.” Basically, Moses just needed to show up and follow instructions. But that takes faith. Not faith in himself, however, but faith in God and God’s promises. Same for me. It’s not about self-confidence. It’s about my confidence in God, who He is and what He has promised. Read my next blog and see what some of those promises are which I will outline for you like a 7 step program. I’ve got to keep reminding myself that it’s not about me and what I can do. Sure, I will look for extra work, but just like with my kids and what they went through, I can pray and know that God is with me and believe in what He can do with me and through me if I show up. Moses just held the staff up. God parted the waters.