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!