It’s inevitable, regardless how successful you are, there will be a moment, a day, a season when you just can’t “fix it.”
Oh, but we so want to, don’t we?
From the moment you take your first step, you feel as if you can do anything.
You go to school and the world gets a bit bigger as you meet new friends and find new influences.
You learn to drive and all of a sudden, independence is yours! You are king of the castle as the world becomes your oyster.
You leave home as exciting opportunities spur you into the newness of “adulting.”
In every season of young life, a sense of “empowerment” blankets as somewhere over the rainbow promises a pot of gold at the end.
The challenges of toddling come with a mom who kisses the boo-boos and makes them better.
The challenges of school bring with them an exhilarating sense of accomplishment as you begin to build brain and relational muscle.
The challenges of driving bring with them a sense of relief when the security blanket of “insurance” says, “I’ll take care of that bumper for you.”
And then life happens and the pot of gold looks like a cheap replica.
It is true, nothing on earth can quite prepare you for the challenges you meet as an adult. Yes, hopefully you have a mom who cares and prays for you. And yes, the empowerment of “just do it” reminds you that building muscle is about much more than just working out in the gym. And while you surround yourself with security buffers that will hopefully cover you when the storm hits, the truth is there will come a day when the security blanket just isn’t big enough.
There will come a day when you just can’t fix it.
The day that our son was arrested was one of those days. Powerless, grieving and exhausted, I didn’t know what to do. I had to learn to exercise a new muscle- the Faith Muscle
Do you know where your faith muscle lies? Between the brain and the stomach there is an organ called the heart. The place where our Creator connects with us, the heart is encased within a muscle called The Faith Muscle. Now, I am not suggesting a newly found part of the anatomy that nobody has ever seen before. In fact, the faith muscle is not visible to the human eye. Only in the eyes of it’s Creator can it be seen. But it’s there.
In the very beginning of it's formation, it is the size of a mustard seed. Yes, the smallest seed in the garden represents the originating size of our faith muscle. But as time goes on, when we meet challenges and learn to depend on the One who has promised to be with us through every one, our faith muscle grows. And it grows. And it grows.
But did you catch the requirement for growth? Yep, dependence.
It seems contrary to our budding knowledge of life, but the truth is dependence is the very thing that spurs on the growth of faith.
In our faith journey, there are a couple of catalysts that spur on growth:
We receive the gift of grace.
We recognize that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
We step into an unknown future.
But how? With the promise that Jesus goes before us:
A termination notice disturbs your future career plans. Do not fear I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right Hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
A hostile environment drains you of your strength and creativity. The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1
A diagnosis threatens your peace. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
A son goes to prison. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life. (And the life of my son.) Psalm 143:8
It’s okay to admit that we can’t fix it. Weakness is not a dirty word. In fact, when we are weak, He is strong. And it is in that very moment, when we pray for strength and courage to walk through our challenge, that our faith muscle engages, freedom follows and the Perfecter of our Faith goes to work.
Jesus, we thank You for grace. We are grateful that we don’t have to navigate our challenges alone, but that our Savior goes before us. Lord, I pray for those today who feel helpless and uncertain. Please help them Lord to see You working on their behalf. Please hear their prayer and heal their land, God. We need You.
In Jesus’ Name.