Sorry that it has been a week since I’ve written. The birthday was distracting and well celebrated. I had to travel to Fort Collins last Wednesday for work, and I was looking forward to it a lot mainly because I love traveling from Denver and heading north. We live in Littleton right against the front range where it is sometimes hard to see the mountains for the ridge line if you know what I mean. I get an awesome view of Red Rocks as I drive around, but it is hard to beat the view as you look to the West and see the entire Rocky Mountains sprawled in the distance. Honestly, that view while I was on a business trip years ago is what made me want to move to Denver in the first place. Traveling to Yellowstone just cemented the desire right in. So here I was looking forward to driving to Fort Collins and enjoying that view. We’ve been exploring to the west of us this summer, so it had been a while since I”d been that far north, and I got to miss rush hour traffic which is a hidden awesome bonus.
It started out a little cold last Wednesday morning, and it was foggy. I found myself trying to see through the fog to see the mountains, but it was a useless attempt even though I even squished up my eyes to activate my non-existent x-ray vision. I was so disappointed and almost angry. I’d so been looking forward to enjoying that view, and it just suddenly wasn’t there, swallowed up a fog that was fated to be only temporary anyway. I wallowed in self-pity for about 10 or 15 minutes until a stray thought hit me and made me feel disappointed in my self-pity. Do you pray to God? I do, and I know that He is there listening to me. Sometimes though I seem to search for His presence more than at other times. Fine, in the interest of full disclosure, I usually search for God more when I’m impatiently awaiting an answer to prayer, and I don’t want a no or a maybe answer. I want to hear yes, and I then I get frustrated that God is not on my time table. (Laugh, people! That is really some hubris and arrogance there. Like I have the authority to stamp my foot like a petulant child and demand an answer from the God of the universe.)
Still, whether we wait impatiently or not for God to answer, He is still there just like those Rocky Mountains; He’s still there right where He was the last time that we needed Him and went looking for Him. We just can’t see Him right at that moment, and just because He is not on our timetable does not mean that everything is not going along according to His plan and His timetable. It didn’t take a whole lot of faith to believe that that interfering fog would eventually burn off and that I would probably be seeing those mountains off in the distance as I was traveling home later when it had warmed up more. It didn’t take any faith to know that those mountains were still there behind that fog. It takes a lot more faith to be still and know that God is sometimes obscured by the fog of life. Sometimes, I get so distracted by my petty everyday problems that I just can’t see God, and being human I start to doubt whether he is really there. I know that the Bible says He pays so much attention to us that He even has the hairs on our heads numbered, but, when I’m not demanding an answer, I do spend time worrying that God has everyone else’s hairs numbered but not mine because surely I’m not really that important.
Surely believing that I have a spot in the God of the universe’s plan is beyond hubris and moving into egomaniac territory, isn’t it? Well, isn’t it? I see a couple of you nodding your heads yes. Or is it obedience? God commands us to be still, to listen, to have faith, and to use our time on this earth to show his love with our hands and feet and to further his Kingdom on earth with our actions and not with our words. How do we achieve that? We achieve that with Faith. Simple, right? But not easy. The next time that you find yourself frustrated with life. Stop and listen, and know by faith that God is still there, unchangeable and unshakeable under that fog. He does not falter; we do. Once the peace from that faith and knowledge sinks in, everything else will seem more manageable. I didn’t say it would be easy, just that it would seem smaller.
Faith should be treated more like a muscle than an intangible belief. The more you work out your faith muscle, the stronger it will get. You may pull it or strain it while you’re figuring it out, but you can’t break it. You don’t have that kind of power. Let faith defeat the fog next time, and see where the peace of faith takes you. I guarantee it takes you to a better place than frustration or defeat would have taken you.
Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”