The other day my 2-year-old, Micah, wanted to climb up on to the kitchen counter by using the drawer handles on our kitchen cabinets because he believed he could get up there all by himself to get a snack without getting hurt. Of course, I tell him no, no and explain that he could fall. He looks at me with innocent, but ornery eyes and attempts to do it again. I grab him off the handles as he's crying and reaching out his arms to do it again. This cycle went on about 4 more times when he finally decided to give up and go play with his toys. He knew mom was not going to let it happen. This situation reminded me of how God is with us and I just have to tell you what God revealed to me during that moment. He gives us free will to make decisions, and he may try to tell us what to do or to go in a different direction, but sometimes we aren't listening. Even if we do hear him, we may not fully trust in what He's trying to tell us. We may say, "that can't be right God... why would you tell me to do that?" Sometimes, having so little faith or faith with limits can hinder us from being able to live out God's will for our lives.
Micah didn’t think he would get hurt, he didn’t understand that I was trying to protect him from falling, so he kept trying over and over to climb. We all sometimes try over and over to climb, don’t we? We all want to succeed in life. We all want to accomplish things. We all want to feel good about ourselves and what we are doing to contribute, but are we living out God's will in all of that? Are we remaining faithful? Are we having faith that this is God's plan?
Micah would have felt good and special if he got on top of the counter by himself. I can see it now...he would have giggled and looked at me with his big blue eyes like “look at me mom, I did it!” However, climbing up on the counter by himself could reap some consequences, like him getting hurt or making a huge mess of food all over the floor. I admit, I am partially to blame for his behavior (lol), I sometimes help Micah up on the counter so he can pick out a snack from the cabinets. He loves the idea of getting to pick out his own snack. It makes him feel good about his independence and decisions. That’s how it is with God. He wants us to make our own decisions in hopes that it means having faith in Him and following Christ. He wants to pick us up and help us along our journey, not watch us fall as we try to live this life all on our own. However, we all have days where we still try to handle everything on our own. We all have times where we try to climb the same mountain over and over while it's getting us nowhere.
I am starting to open up Gods word and read the Gospels one by one. I want to learn more about Jesus in His human state and who God is. As I was reading Mathew, I just kept seeing scripture about having so little faith pop out at me and not fully trusting in God's sovereignty, His power over us all. There are 5 different times in Mathew, where Jesus explains what having faith can do. In Mathew 17, Jesus is approached to heal a demon-possessed boy after His disciples tried, but could not heal him. Jesus healed the boy and afterwards, His disciples asked Him, why couldn't we drive it out? Jesus replied and said, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Mathew 17: 20-21. A mustard seed was one of the smallest known seeds during that time in the middle east, and if planted would grow into a large tree. Therefore, even the smallest amount of faith can have a huge impact on the lives of other people and on God's kingdom.
Who's in Charge?
Sometimes, we forget who’s in charge here and we go on our own way or let our own thoughts spiral without stopping to acknowledge the one who’s helped us all along...the one who is really in charge. It’s like my 2-year-old. He will just go on about his own way without knowing boundaries and forgetting that mom and dad are in charge. This is why we have to set boundaries for him or else he will never understand what is harmful and what is good. God is trying to do that with us in our lives. As our Father, He wants to protect us (His children). He wants us to put all our faith in Him even when things don’t make sense. We have to seek Him for all our needs and He will provide. He’s provided all along right? If you look back on your life, has he not carried you through the toughest times thus far? If we pray, he will provide answers, maybe not right away, but He always does eventually. What you think you need, may not be what He wants for you at this time, so just be patient and still have faith. He wants you to listen and move when He tells you it's time to move. Go forward when it’s time to go forward. Be still when it's time to be still. After all, our God is a loving God who wants nothing but to bring peace, joy, and comfort to us all, even on some of our hardest days. In His time, He will make everything work out for your own good (Romans 8:28).
I'm going to dig a little deeper here for a second...if you've accepted Christ as your savior, then Christ lives within you. It's called the Holy Spirit. By this, we can directly have a closer relationship with God. For example. when I am in my prayer time (quiet time) asking God for forgiveness for my own sins, praying to Him, thanking Him, asking Him things, etc...I will have feelings/thoughts come to me that I know can only be from God. I would not have thought of them or realized them on my own. What He's asking of me through feelings or thoughts during prayer time is sometimes very loud and clear. Sometimes I hear and feel nothing at all. When a feeling and thought comes over me, I have chosen to listen and as I keep listening, things continue to become clearer and clearer. This is all from accepting Christ as my savior and choosing to follow Him.
Faith Without Limits So this year, this whole New Year ahead of you, I am challenging you to have faith without limits. This means, to have faith all day, everyday. Not just the kind of faith that makes you get up for church on Sunday mornings or the kind that causes you to pray when something is going wrong. That's not enough. What happens if you got diagnosed with cancer tomorrow or found out your spouse wants a divorce or you lose a loved one? I know these are very extreme, but my point is, would you still have faith in God during these moments and trust that this is His will? Would you trust that it is apart of His plan and purpose for you? I have to ask myself the exact same things...it would be hard to have faith and trust God's plan especially during really hard circumstances like that. Look at everything that was thrown at Job in the bible. He is a true example of having faith without limits. No matter what happened to him, He still believed and trusted in God. I don't know about you, but I strive to have faith like Job. The kind that says, "Okay God, here is my life, no matter what happens I'm ready to listen and I will follow you." I want to have hope for something better rather it is here on earth or in eternal life (heaven). That is why I have faith. I don't want to be conflicted or bound by the weight of this world, because life can get real heavy. Life just simply sucks sometimes. That is why I have to tell you that I have seen God's work in my own life. I can see His hand print on every part of my life looking back. That is all from my faith in Him. He has shown me all of that.
Your Father is ready to carry you in the right direction. He’s ready to see you through. Anything you have in front of you...any challenge...anything at all, lay it all at His feet. One with so little faith, start your year with limitless faith and the sky is literally the limit. Even in the midst of heartache and loss, God can show up in the most powerful ways, but we need to have limitless faith to see it. We have to let God in our lives and surrender it all to Him, so that He can show us a better way of living this life. From that, we will find everlasting peace and joy no matter what is going on around us. Job was granted twice as much as what He had before his trials, because of his tremendous amount of faith and trust in God. (Job 42:10).
God is with us When there are days of temper tantrums and a hundred times of hearing the word mommy. When there is loneliness from no adult interaction all day or feeling unworthy because I’m still in my pj’s with leftover makeup and dark circles from the leftover mascara the day before. When I catch myself comparing or becoming envious of others who don’t seem like they go through what I do every day (sinning). When there are times that I feel like all I do is clean, cook, and take care of two kids. When there are times when I think no one understands how I'm feeling, not even my husband. I think oh how nice it would be to have something to go to or to get done up for. When heartache from loss of loved ones is hindering me, and nothing anyone says can help. It is during these times that I realize, Christina, this is not having faith. I pull myself together and look at the joy coming from my children. I look at my life around me and all I have. I look at everything I have been able to do and the lives I have been able to reach. I thank God for allowing me to feel that kind of joy. What else can bring me that kind of permanent long lasting joy? That is all I need. This is what faith does you guys. Faith reminds me that He's here working in me and for me during all of my moments. Faith brings me closer to God.
When I can turn to Him or worship Him with a song and get out a good cry because I remember everything He has carried me through, I know He’s right there. When I am on the floor playing with the kids (still in my pj’s with leftover makeup, feeling blah) and Mason turns to me as he’s giggling to tell me how much he loves me. I get tears in my eyes, and thank God I am able to be here with them. He’s working in all our little moments, even in times of loneliness. I just have to remind myself, He’s here. He’s with me.
Me...of so little faith, what can I do to have limitless faith today. How can I switch my thoughts and perspectives on this day?? How can I remember that with faith like a mustard seed, I can move mountains? We can impact and grow God's Kingdom in so many ways.
From having my faith, I want to tell you, God does hear us. He does know our needs. We just have to listen and move forward when it's the right time, or sometimes it's just being still in the moment. Everything will happen in God's perfect timing. I am a witness to that. I tell you, every time negative feelings or feelings of sorrow resurface, I turn to God and He lifts me up. He is always there. Even when he doesn't answer prayers right away, I still see His works all around me. I still see this good life right in front of me and count my many blessings He has provided me all along.
Happy New Year! Christina
"I know how it feels to want to be loved, to want to belong, to be cared for, and the need for worth or value."