Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Faith Is For the Middle

It has been interesting to read the emails many of you have sent me regarding some of my recent blog entries, in particular the "When God Brings A Change" (May 27) and "Getting Ready For the Change" (May 29) entries. Some blog readers are waiting on changes with their jobs, some are waiting on God to answer prayers with a family member, and others are just waiting on God to tell them what's next for their life. It is always exciting when God says, "Let's do a new thing". In such times, faith is required.

In Mark 4:37-38, the Bible tells how the disciples found themselves needing faith. "And a furious storm of wind arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled. But He (Jesus) was in the stern of the boat, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, 'Master, do you not care that we are perishing?'" Although God often calls us to launch out to a new destination, He usually does not let us know what is going to happen on the way to it. We leave the security of where we are and start out for the blessings of the other side, but it is often in the middle where we encounter the storms. The middle is often a place of testing.

The storm was in full force and Jesus was asleep! Have you ever had times when you felt that you were sinking fast and Jesus was asleep? You prayed and prayed and heard nothing from God. You searched for an answer, but no matter how hard you struggled against the wind and waves, the storm raged on and you didn't know what to do about it!

It is times like this, when it looks like the boat is sinking with us in it, that we must "use" our faith. We can talk about it, read about it, hear sermons about it, sing songs about it, but in the storm, we must use it. It is also at such times when we discover just how much faith we really have.

Faith is like muscle. It is strengthened by using it, not by talking about it. Each storm we go through equips us to handle the next one better. Soon we become such a good navigator that the storms don't disturb us at all. We've been through it before and we already know how it will end. It will be alright.

It does not require much faith to begin something. The beginning and the end are exciting times. Yet we have to go through the middle to get to the other side.

Faith is for those times when we don't have the manifestation of the answer yet. Faith is for the middle!


Angie said...

Thanks Barbie, I really needed this. I prayed for 3 years trying to bargain with God. You see, I knew He wanted me to leave my job as an office manager at a Doctor's office and go into the field of nursing so that I could be a better witness for Him. After 3 years of wrestling with myself and what I knew that God had called me to do, one night my husband said if you give into the will that we both know is God's will for your life and have faith in Him, things will go a lot better. Today 1 1/2 years later I am in nursing school and I can say that after I totally gave into the will of God on my life, I experienced such sweet peace. I just wanted to thank you for such a witness that you are to everyone. It never fails that when I have had a bad day, or things go wrong, I can read your blog and it always picks me up. Please continue to pray for me as the devil has been on the attack day in and day out. Praise God I will not be defeated. Angie (McComb)

hickguy said...

I second that... you always have a way of putting things into perspective for us. Personally, I think you should be a pastor part-time. I'd travel the 150 miles to go to your church!

Deanna said...

God just changed the entire direction of my life after doing the same thing for six years. Where does He want me next? I'm not sure. Right now I feel like Moses in the wilderness, but I know that even the wilderness experience is a valuable time. Thanks, Barbie, for your posts and for the encouragement that it offers.

Tammi said...

Thanks Barbie for always being so inspirational. I miss you on the news! My husband and I are in the process of praying for a new job for him, and it's hard to wait on God, we all want things in our time! But we have to realize that things always work out, just in time! He's never let us down before! Thank you being such an encouragement!