Friday, July 11, 2008

Faith and Patience


Did you ever build a kite as a kid? You'd take a couple of pieces of balsa wood, some paper, glue and string. Then you'd pray for a breeze. But did you ever think about how much faith it took to run a field, dragging your fragile creation behind you?

Some days the kite took off in a matter of minutes, dipping and darting as the wind pulled it up into the sky. Other times, no matter how fast you ran or how high you tried to jump, the kite continued to drag along behind you, until you finally gave up and went inside. Your success depended on something you couldn't control - something you couldn't even see. But you still believed it was there. You'd seen what the wind could do before. You had faith it would happen again.

The book of Hebrews, chapter 11, talks about the essence of faith. It explains that what is done in faith gives evidence to what cannot be seen. Running through the field trying to launch a kite gives evidence that there's something you're trusting in other than your own strength to get that kite up into the air. How much you trust in the power of the wind depends on three things: what others have told you about it, your experience with it, and how much you're wiling to risk trusting something you cannot see.

Your first step of faith in flying a kite was trusting in what others said the wind could do. You may have read a book, seen a kite on TV, learned about wind power in school, or watched as friends ran through the field with a kites of their own. Once you judged that your sources were reliable, things got a little more personal.

You may have had experience with wind in the past. You felt it blow against your face in a storm. You saw it whip leaves down the street on a fall day. You saw video of a hurricane picking up a trailer home. Certainly, in your experience, wind seems strong enough to carry a little balsa wood and paper through the sky.

You may believe in the wind. But until you trust the wind with your precious kite, you don't have faith in it. Faith involves action. You may believe that spring will come again next year. But planting your tulip bulbs in the fall is more than belief. It's an act of faith. You're acting as though something will happen before it actually has. You're putting your trust in something you cannot see.

Do you believe in God? If so, does what you believe have any effect on you life? We can believe in God and not have faith in Him. We may have heard what others have said about Him. We may have examined our own experience as to whether He really is who He says He is. But until we risk doing something where we have to trust Him, our faith is not real. It's just a theory we ponder, a philosophy we agree with.

Faith only grows through exercise. We may risk only small things - at first. "I'll risk wasting a few moments of time in prayer on the off-chance that God will really answer." But as we experience more of God's power in our lives, our faith - and willingness to risk - will grow. "I know this job doesn't pay as much as the one I have now, but I'm willing to risk it because I believe it's where God wants me to be." Our picture of God is as big as our faith.

But what happened on the day that the wind wasn't there - the day that our kites refused to fly? Some days, it feels as though God's doing the same thing that don't change right away. Faith doesn't give up when God's answer or timing isn't the same as our own. It doesn't put the kite in the closet and forget about it. Faith goes out into the field, trusting that God will show up when it's time for the kite to fly. Faith acts in confidence because it knows who God really is.

Taking time every day to talk with God about your life strengthens your faith as He reveals His true self to you. The stronger your faith, the more you can view problems as opportunities for Him to show you just what He can do. - His way. You'll find yourself bravely buying the biggest ball of kite string you can find to wait patiently for just the right breeze to lift your kite above the fences that seem to stand in the way.

Forwarded by a friend. Thanks, Marlou! :D

Labels: ,