Faith is sometimes thought to belong with the “ostrich people’ – those who resolutely stick their heads into a reality called, ‘just believe” and refuse to look at what is palpably true to everyone else!
Sometimes words of admiration are offered to acknowledge this divine stubbornness. People may say things like, “I admire their faith” or “I wish I could believe like that”, but underlying their admiration is an assumption of naivety – they find beauty in such tender trust but find themselves too ‘grown up”, too ‘rational’, ‘too questioning’ to embrace it. : )
I suppose in part this view is valid. For Jesus did say that unless one is changed to become like a child, one cannot enter the Kingdom of God. But is becoming a child the same as believing in a world of goblins and pixies?
When I think of faith, I think of King David..
When I think of faith, I think of King David charging into battle with songs of praise on his lips whilst facing hordes of fierce, merciless bloodthirsty men who wanted nothing more than to cut his flesh into hundred pieces. I see him in the palace surrounded by intrigue, envy and spite- here being stabbed in the back wasn’t just a matter of metaphor. I see him fleeing for his life from his own son, walking away from everything he’d built and fought for. And I ask myself, what nature of faith is that? Surely not the dreamy, pie in the sky type of wishful thinking that is so often associated with the word. Faith here seems to look less like holding on to a fantasy that one can ‘make happen’ if only one shuts one’s eyes long enough and believes hard enough and more like.. reality. A reality so vivid and intense that it strengthens one to face one’s deepest fears and engage with life in its most gruelling moments!
Faith is Assertion
How does faith become this kind of tangible strength? Through some kind of divine revelation of a God-reality that surrounds us even though we can’t ‘touch’ it? Yea for sure that’s one part of the equation..but I do believe there’s another part and that involves asserting what has been revealed to us of God. For we read in scripture, that to each of us, a measure of faith has been given. Further, Jesus teaches that when we use what we have, more is given to us! And that’s the whole point of the battle! Battles beckon us to use the little we do have!
“Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them” -Jesus.
A Battle Song..
Faith is sometimes restful trust, but sometimes it is a battle- song, a battle cry that calls a higher reality to bear down on the scariest, most discouraging situations of life! Our lyrics may be as simple and as repetitive as a nursery rhyme that goes “God is good” but when we adopt it as our battle cry, we slay giants. For sure what emboldened King David’s battle charge was not some vague, passive hope that somehow everything will work out for good in the end.. We can be sure that when he lifted up his sword and plunged into the thick of battle, his hope became an assertive shout …a declaration of victory promised and given!
Today we are each in a battle of some kind – a battle for our marriage, a battle for our kids, a battle for our finances, a battle for seeing our God-given purposes fulfilled, or as is so often the case, a battle against our worn-down selves.
Praying Heaven to Earth!
Today, I’m saying a prayer for both of us that though we fall (and fall again) we’ll rise again (and again) ..with a battle song on our lips. We are not ostriches! Neither are we brave-hearts. We are timid children, stubborn children who nag our present realities with the truth we know, till it succumbs to that higher law of order, goodness and beauty and makes way for heaven to come on earth!