I was prompted to study Hebrews 11 this morning, and it amazes me that the more I study the Bible and think I know some Scripture, I read full chapters and realize, “Whoa, I can’t believe I never read that before.” Most people know Hebrews 11 as the “Faith Chapter.” It describes what faith is in its first verse:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1
What I failed to study deeper (and perhaps I’m not alone in this), is the countless stories of people of inspiring faith that are scattered throughout the Bible’s pages. Men like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and women like Sarah and Rahab. There are accounts of many others, but the same is true: these people had faith, and they accomplished some pretty wild things with God because of their faith. We are called to have trust in God, a very difficult feat especially when chaos is around us and we have family and friends who have good intentions giving us different advice, and I’m sure the most notable people of faith above had the same issues. We are to abandon doubt. There are definitely a lot of times where I find it easy to have faith. Life is “good” when the bills are paid, I’m getting sleep, my children are behaving, and the days are productive. I find it the most difficult to trust God when I’m worrying about what meal I’m going to feed my family, when I’m running on 4 hours of sleep, my kids are fighting and there’s just chaos hitting me from all directions. I also have found it hard to have faith in many difficult seasons of my life, including my parent’s divorce, my bout with postpartum depression, dealing with Alopecia/Topical Steroid Withdrawal and a variety of incidents of broken relationships and limbs. I found myself arguing with God quite often, but have learned that He really is faithful. He always shows up when I need him to, not necessarily when I want him to. It took a lot of pruning on my character when I just want to doubt God and his love for me, and He always replaced it with a new found wisdom and discernment on my life’s situations.
Life is precious, and tomorrow is never promised (thank you James for the reminder). If something unfortunate may happen to me in the near future, the legacy I’d like to leave to my children and to family and friends was that I was a woman of faith. Not to say my faith in God is perfect, because it is definitely far from that, but that I strived to live a life that relied on God. When I look over all the names that Hebrews 11 mentioned, I am indeed inspired by their faith. I’m inspired that they probably had their doubts. I’m inspired that despite their doubts, they probably found a way to muster up their faith daily to act in obedience to what God called them to do, and because of that, God blessed them. Perhaps the blessing was isn’t initially what they expected, but it may have been way more than they even imagined.
As I write this post, there have been many unsaid things I have been struggling to have faith with. I want to give up daily. I have family and friends who get on my case that I should give up, and then I have family and friends who continue to pray and encourage me. It’s a daily battle of figuring out what I need to do to focus on what I feel God has called me to do. When all is said and done, no matter what the outcome, my hope is that before God and those who know me, I was inspiring faith to someone who may need encouragement to keep moving forward and get through another day. To me in this season of my life, that is really all that matters.