by, Jeanette Harris
You know when you are reading something, watching a show/movie, or doing devotions you have this moment of illumination? Maybe a creative bug bites you? That is what happened as I was pondering “faith.” I happened to be studying it in one of my classes and checking my instagram. The following prompted me to share a bit of my journey and how faith looks lived out.
“In the New Testament is pistis. Pistis encompasses a number of ideas, all of them revolving around an intentional, engaged trust. Definitions include “firm persuasion, the conviction…a firmly relying confidence.” Lawrence O. Richards notes, “ Pistis and related words deal with relationships established by trust and maintained by trustworthiness.” When we trust something, we have reasons for it, evidence that justifies and supports it.
A claim is not true just because we believe it or untrue because we don't believe it.
A snippet of my story*
Why God? Why is she getting everything that I have prayed for…. Begged for… wailed in pain for? Your promises for me! Have I been missing the point this whole time? I know that I have sinned against you and I have submitted my whole-self to you and your Word. Repented. Forgiven. Redeemed. Why is she getting my blessings? My husband...sober [I begged for his sobriety and now, after 10 years of struggle, I get him through rehab, a few months of sobriety, he leaves and she is getting the benefits of his sobriety instead of me? I fought for that, not her].. My baby… that my womb has ached for and I have been waiting for, over 10 years!" On my knees within the closed pantry, crying so hard and much that there were no more tears falling. Oxygen was hard to come by. Just hoping to hear His answers to my heart’s most painful questions… Why?
Was my faith not strong enough? Did I doubt that He was who I have investigated,, studied, tested, and experienced Him to be? Did I no longer believe that He was good or that He was a promise keeper? Were my convictions of truth all foolishness?
No. I was just broken. Blinded by my own expectations and timing. Lost in my own grief as my human-size dreams died. What came next, in the breadth of a second, was a profound moment in my faith and relationship with the Living Breathing Savior of my soul….He breathed into my soul:
“Are those your blessings? That’s all you wanted? Do you trust me? Do you know who I am?”
Broken and now gently reminded of His trustworthiness that has been tried and true. My inner voice cried out again,
“Lord please forgive me for my Job moment. If this is the cup I must bare I will trust in you and know that you are far greater than me. You see the panoramic and I only see a pixel. I cannot do this on my own. I cannot breath without you. You are the God of providence, purpose, a promise keeper. I believe you. You ARE Good!”
Those weren’t my blessings. Those “blessings” were coming at the cost of heartbreak (husband leaving on the premise of “separation”), selfishness, and sin. God has better plans than what I thought was the best plan or miracle. I wanted my situation changed (marriage restored, seeking God together, and a miracle baby), however God wants our hearts. Many blessings have been missed or postponed due to my own choices [just like the Israelites wandering in the desert], but in this situation those weren’t blessings for me. God had a plan. His best was yet to come in my life, though I didn’t feel it or see it. I knew Him to be true and trustworthy, especially in my brokenness.
I had been growing in my faith for years at this point. My relationship with God had been through more trials of wildernesses than I could count before this dark jungle valley. This season, right here, was one of the darkest points in all the valleys I had walked myself into. In this moment of the dense jungle darkness, I stood firm in my faith, “deliberate”, because whether I felt it or not, believed it or not, God is exactly who he says that he is: GOOD. In every moment, through every tragedy, he remains good. It is when we look back with an investigative eye you can see how incredibly good He is. David Powell wrote “truth is true, whether you believe it or not” and the truth is: God IS good.
Did the situation change for me? NO. Did my heart change in the circumstance? Profoundly. And now? Now I have a life far greater than I could have asked/begged for or even dreamed. Is my womb still empty? Yes. Do I still believe that it will one day be fruitful? Absolutely YES! His timing and purpose is far more important and definitely better than mine.
If I want to settle … then I can do it my own way, my own time, and continue to reason with my limited human understanding; which is (as a Christian) a life of “faith” lip service (where I claim to have faith but do not truly trust the One I claim to have faith in). If I want to thrive and have the best life that could ever be dreamed, then I will live a life of faith and actively, deliberately, trust the One who is trustworthy and designed me before time began. My Hope is not in His blessings or answered cries, my hope is in HIM! He is where my faith stands. HE is the deepest satisfaction of my soul. HE IS ENOUGH!
This is not a faith of foolishness. It is a faith that is tested, investigated, and true. Truth is truth whether we believe it or not and faith is a belief formed from reason not without it. May you be encouraged to live a life of faith and not just offer a life of lip service. Take time to actually get to know Him, His character, the way you would if you were dating a person or building a new kindred friendship. Weird? I know!
You would go out of your way to get to know a human being, that is going to let you down (we all have our limitations) and never totally know you. Let’s be real: there are always areas we are still learning about ourselves and we also naturally keep safe spaces that are for our eyes only. What if you took intentional time and energy to get to know the One who designed you [Psalms 139], knows you not only by name but the number of hairs on your head and collects the tears that even your best of friends/ spouses/ parents don’t even know? Just a thought.
I desperately long for you to get to know God, personally, intentionally, and investigatively so that you will know Him in such a way that no matter what storms may come, you can stand on the Rock of Faith and give such a testimony.
Seek. Ask. Dig. He will be found. You will be answered. You will discover the deepest and richest treasures.
Faith isn’t based on foolishness but upon a deliberate investigation into the Lord, in whom you put your trust and find that He is trustworthy. Thus, being able to stand firmly with confidence. That is my hope and prayer for you [Ephesians 3: 14-21]
*This is a snippet from the beautiful tragedy of losing my first marriage of over 13 years. I say beautiful because it brought me back to the Lord. His word says He will have no other gods before Him and unfortunately I had made my first husband a crystal god between me and the Lord. I still pray for him, his now wife, and their son. My situation didn’t change (after 4 years of “separation” a divorce did happen) but my heart and my faith grew deeper and stronger. God wants our hearts, first and foremost. With faith, I laid down my personal wants for His. I then begin to pray (and continue): “whatever it takes to bring them to you, Lord. This life is not about me. It’s all about you. You are Good and you know our bests.” I have since received a better life than I had ever dreamed of and am humbled by blessings I don’t feel I deserve. However, God IS GOOD and His best is better than dreams.
Thank you to Jeanette Harris for sharing your heart and story on FAITH with the Codex Community. To read more of Jeanette's writings and following along on her faith journey, please visit: