Where is our faith when every stinking thing that can happen happens? When you’re already struggling, when your body is failing, and when your mind refuses to think?
Here come the “if you justs”. If you just have enough faith, if you just say this prayer, if you just drink or eat this, if you just ask for help, if you just make this change, if you just recite this every morning at 6:30 a.m., if you just stand like this, hold out your right hand and lift your left leg. There are 83 balls in the air, you have two hands, and any “just” adds another ball. Just how do we keep our faith?
Twenty plus years ago I was hit head on while stopped in the left hand lane. It was one in a series of extremely traumatic events that on their own are considered major but occurred within a two year period. The things that happened in-between when I lived in survival mode, hid what was really happening, existed by performing, are too numerous to mention yet added significantly to the overwhelming weight of my burdens.
Church friends passed on their magic faith formulas. One said, “Just write down everything you want God to work on and put the paper under your pillow. Just pray your list faithfully and say these special verses every day! Just have faith and God will!”
I actually spent time writing that list and saying those special prayers making sure I had the words just right, with just enough sincerity, just enough holiness, just enough faith to make God behave, for about three days before the absurdity of the just-do-these-things-and-He-will hit me. God is God. I’m not. God is just; just Him.
Most of us know the story of Job and his faithfulness to God despite the terrible things that happened. Then there’s Nahum about God’s wrath on Nineveh. It’s horrifying to read and sometimes I think many of us can relate but the message in this one verse is found throughout the Bible.
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
There is no “if you just”; He just is. He is our faith.