By Mary Beth Foster
The Lord upholds all those who fall, and lifts up all who are bowed down…
I woke up to a beautiful snowy morning. It’s my favorite weather, and with it came a 2-hour delay for school. I love that! I love being able to spend some extra time on morning devotions and prayer. I really like devotions that include a prayer at the end, mostly because I often feel like I’m praying the same things over and over again. I love the insight the devotion writers bring to prayer. So, today as I’m praying this wonderfully insightful prayer, I read “Stretch my faith.”
EEERRRT! (How do you spell the sound of brakes bringing your car to a screeching halt?)
Stretch my faith? That sounds scary. No. Thank you. Not right now! I cannot pray this prayer. I do not want to stretch my faith at the moment. Kelly Minter, I do not want to go to the Amazon! I’ve stretched for a long time and I’m tired. I want to rest for a little bit. After a year of pain, I’m finally back on track, or at least on a track, as in “no longer derailed.” Can’t I take just a short break and bask in the results of having stretched my faith like Silly Putty in the past year?
If I had been standing, I’m sure I would have stomped my foot. Not the mature, Christian thing to do, I know.
Then, I heard Him.
I felt God telling me “Don’t worry; I’m not sending you to the Amazon. You can stretch your faith right here, right now.”
And I realized that every time we put our trust in God, we stretch our faith. Every moment we pray, and really let go of control, we stretch our faith. It doesn’t take leaving the country to stretch our faith.
Maybe this is the lesson I’m living right now-to everyday put my trust in God right here, right now, even for the smallest things. To really believe that He is present with me, always. I’m talking really believe it, feel it and live it. Not just remembering from time to time. Not just looking for Him when I’m feeling the emptiness of my house. Not just calling out to Him when I need Him most. Not just praising Him when things are going well, and I’m feeling so grateful.
My faith is strong, but there are holes, just like the wall around Jerusalem in Nehemiah. But I want to be like Baruch, who, in chapter 3, verse 20, was noted to have “zealously repaired” the wall.” Am I zealously repairing the holes in my faith? Not with this attitude.
OK, Father, I get it. Stretch my faith!
Father, help me to remember that stretching my faith does not need to mean leaving my little world. Though I don’t always remember it, or act on it, I want to grow and be strong in You, turning to You first in every situation. Forgive me for the times when I lean on my own strength instead of yours, and thank You for always reminding me of your presence, and your guidance in my life.