Faith (or lack thereof)
I've been struggling with faith. Not in the sense of questioning the existence of God, but in the act of living by faith. There is so much I don't see and don't have proof for and it's hard to believe with strong conviction or any conviction-- other than negative ones.
The story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho has been swirling in my head. An angel appears with a message from God. Joshua trusted the message enough to convince his entire army that marching around Jericho once every day for 6 days and then 7 times on the 7th day would bring the walls a tumblin'. Are you serious? Honestly, I would have given Joshua a hard time. Apparently, God knew Joshua would need some steadfastness because in Chapter 1 when he appoints Joshua God tells him 3 times to "be strong and very courageous" (v. 7) and "do not be terrified; do not be discouraged" (v. 9). Finally, even the Israelites as they pledge themselves to God and Joshua's leadership respond with "Only be strong and courageous!" (v. 18), like they want to remind him!
And here is the mystery of myself: I know God is faithful. It's not something I've just read about or been told, but HE has proven his faithfulness to me...quite recently in fact. Still, I find myself at a crossroads where fear of the future overwhelms, where my lack of knowledge brings anxiety, and where my reserves of strength and courageous faith (did I ever have them?) seem empty. I'm the disciple in the boat screaming for God to rescue me and He is right there asking me "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" (Matthew 8:26)
I do not yet know how to live out faith in Christ with courage and conviction. My human reasoning and self knowledge still hold too much of my heart.
[Edit] A friend sent the following to me: "But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One." J. McCarthy So good, so true, so hard.