A friend sent me a free trial of one of the food services. They sent us all the ingredients and recipes for three lovely meals for my husband and I. All I had to do was prepare it. The first recipe included a clove of garlic and called for a mortar and pestle. What? Why would I have a mortar and pestle?
Another recipe called for lemon zest which meant grating the peel of the lemon that had been sent with the food. The only grater I have is the big kind and that wasn’t going to work. And why would they want me to grate a lemon when you can buy perfectly good lemon zest in the store?
The recipes were tasty, but I’m not into that much preparation. The garlic clove they wanted me to mash was to make pesto. Another ingredient easy to buy already made. This was getting just silly.
The songs we sang in Sunday School made it sound simple. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so. Jesus loves the little children….ALL the children of the world. We sang about a wee little man who climbed a tree and little boy named David who was a sharp shooter with a slingshot. The songs had happy endings. Jesus loves us. He protects us. He comes to be with us.
Do you see the trend? I’m skeptical of things labeled easy, but I’m fond of an easier way.
I want faith to be as easy as it felt when I was a kid. It seemed prayer was the magic answer but it’s not working anymore and I’m asking, what’s changed?
As Christians, we like to talk about the success and not the failures. The safety and not the risk. When we say our prayers were answered, what we really mean is we got the answer we wanted.
We’ve been good at proclaiming that believing in Jesus as your Savior will keep you from eternal hell but we don’t say you may go through your own hell on earth first.
We have enjoyed decades of Christianity being embraced in this country. Of families attending church together more Sundays than not. Now we’re wearing a badge of entitlement expecting this easy faith to continue.
Faith is risky.
Martin Luther King, Jr. described faith as “taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”.
We’ve prayed for marriages to be saved that weren’t. We’ve prayed for people to be healed of cancer, of addiction, of depression and they weren’t. We’ve prayed for the pregnancy to go full term or for the the waiting to conceive. Again and again our prayers seemed to fall silent.
We’ve prayed for our will not His.
Faith is the opposite of knowing and yet it is believing.
This is the faith I don’t like, the one I wrestle with. These are the words that get stuck, not wanting to come out but the only words that bring real peace: Thy will be done.
I haven’t said those words much lately. Instead, I’ve had a pity party for the faith that once looked so simple. Refusing to believe the words are still simple to think but saying them, meaning them, requires letting go of my will.
I know faith is risky. Help me believe anyway.
I know the unknown is scary, uncertain. Help me trust anyway.
Help me embrace a faith that doesn’t always make sense; a faith that holds more risks and isn’t safe.
Help me embrace your will, accepting it as a pathway to peace.