This is my faith
This is my faith.
My faith is a comfortable place of knowing.
Just knowing. Not needing to prove to myself or to others. Simply knowing.
Knowing that the God who created the whole universe also created me.
That He cares for me and loves me, just as I am, just like He cares for and loves every living being in the whole universe. I give Him pleasure, just by being me.
I’ve come to a place where I never ever question that. That belief is central to who I am. It runs right through me.
OK, yes, sometimes I lose sight of that. I get distracted by who the media tells me I should be. I take too much notice of what other people think of who I am.
But when I come back to myself, when I breathe and travel deep within, then I rediscover the truth of who I am before God. I can be still, I can relax, I can stop striving. I am enough.
And sometimes I lose sight of the wonders of the world God has created for His pleasure and for mine. I chase after pretty things, a beauty that will not last, a satisfaction that cannot satisfy for long.
But when I stop and lift my eyes to the heavens and listen to the wind in the trees and feel the sun on my face, then I am brought back to the immensity of God’s glory revealed in His creation.
I know that God knows best how life should be lived. It goes without saying that the creator would best know that which He created. And it’s no big secret how to live life to the full. Throughout history, God’s given us plenty of pointers. For a start, the Bible is full of indications of how to be human as we were created to be human (with plenty of examples of what it looks like to get it wrong too). Then there is Jesus – the ultimate example to live as God intended. God’s love in action on earth. When Jesus said ‘I am the way, I believe he was saying ‘Look at me! This is the way to do it. Do as I do, say what I would say, love as I love. You can’t go far wrong if you do that.’
There’s plenty that goes on in my own life and in the world around me that raises a multitude of questions as to what God is playing at. I wouldn’t be human if that was not the case. My life doesn’t make sense to me. If I were God, I would do it all very differently. I could bring Him much more glory if I didn’t suffer so much with exhaustion and anxiety, for example. If I wasn’t plagued with depression from time to time. If I was just that little bit more perfect.
And then there’s all the struggles that the people in my world are going through. Things that shouldn’t be happening to good people like them. My heart aches for them and I so want to fix it for them and I don’t know why God doesn’t want that too.
As I look around the world, I’m constantly bewildered by ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. And it’s not just men, either (that phrase just resonates for me somehow)! Racism, sexism, any kind of -ism, any discrimination and prejudice that puts one people group above another. It astounds me that God lets anyone get away with this. When I discovered the word ‘Namaste’, I breathed a sigh of relief. Now that made sense. ‘The divine in me bows to the divine in you’. That is the way God intended us to live. That I could do. I could walk out into each day, believing that God was out there in people and situations and nature, there waiting for me to open my eyes and see Him at work. I wasn’t taking God to anyone. He was there already. I love the anticipation of bumping into God at work in the most unlikely of people and places. The God of surprises.
The more I think about my faith, the more I picture it as a large, comfy old armchair. Stick with me. It’s not something I’ve ever experienced in reality, but my friend has. She has a chair that is her chair. Her safe place, her haven. I imagine this chair in a special corner of a house that I grew up in. It’s always been there. It’s worn out in patches. The armchair in my imagination doesn’t really look like this picture. I can’t find one that does so this will have to do to give you an idea.
I have memories of sitting in that chair over the years. Being bounced on my dad’s knee as a toddler. Curled up with a good book as a teenager. Nursing my baby there. Every time I collapse into that chair, I know I have come home. I breathe a sigh of relief. I know I am safe here. Loved. Everything starts to feel better when I’m sitting in that chair.
My faith is that place of refuge. That place where all is well. Even when it isn’t, as I look out from that place, I am assured that all will be well. I find rest there, true rest. I can relax and know that God has it all covered. I don’t have to have it all figured out. I don’t have to fix everything and have all the answers.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
That’s it. That’s all I need to know.
This is my faith.