So then, we are back to where we started at the beginning of last week - wondering how it is that we make a decision by faith. In the days in between, we have looked at a lot of ideas and many of the considerations that we have to make when we're trying to figure out how, exactly, to follow God. And if you're thinking by now that it sounds impossible, well...you're not far off.
If you've ever been around me when I'm trying to make one of these decisions, you know that I'm not usually shy about considering all of these things out loud. If someone knows I'm wrestling with what the faithful thing is, and they ask, I will usually work them through my thought and prayer process, through all of the things I'm thinking about, through the things that I know and the ones that I take by faith, and quite often, I have to admit...
Faith feels more like a curse than a blessing.
My life would be so much easier if I didn't have to think about what God wants. If I could only think about what I want or what seems easiest or what gets me to where I want to go on the simplest path possible, I could make most of my decisions pretty quickly. And I wouldn't second-guess very many of them, I don't think.
My life would be easier if I didn't have to think about all of the things that I know I'm not thinking about, if I didn't know that there are things that I don't know, if I didn't believe in things that I have not yet seen. If I didn't have to calculate miracles and the goodness of God and the unimaginable into my decisions, they'd be pretty easy to make. Things would be more straightforward. I could lay all the "facts" out right in front of me, make a pros and cons list, and just go for it (or not, depending on what I choose).
My life would be easier if I wasn't aware of the massive grace poured out on it at every moment. If I didn't have this nagging in my soul that tells me how much God loves me. If I wasn't certain, with every fiber of my being, that at any moment, God could do the most remarkable thing that right now, seems most definitely improbable.
My life would be easier without faith.
But it wouldn't be nearly as blessed.
It wouldn't be as beautiful. It wouldn't be filled with the kind of incredible stories that I can tell, that I do tell, about the goodness of God. It wouldn't be the kind of testimony and living witness that absolutely humbles me every time I'm trying to make a decision like this. It wouldn't be full of the glory of God, which is, honestly, what I'm going for. I want a life that so glorifies Him that you can't help but wrestle with your decisions the way I wrestle with mine because you want this. I want to live a life that makes you want this.
And I know - after the past two weeks of discussion, that sounds like a curse, but I promise you it's not. I promise you. Making a faithful decision can be the hardest, most aggravating, most confusing, most uncertain thing that I do with my faith. But it's beautiful, too. Even the mess of it.
And so far, it's been worth it. Every time.