Wander around in a wilderness for just a little bit and you're bound to run smack dab into your own unbelief. It's one thing to see that sneaky sin of unbelief slithering around someone else, but it's altogether different when you find it's python-like grip around your faith like a noose.
I wonder how I've come face to face with unbelief yet again.
I believe in God.
I believe that He's able to do wonders.
I believe that He parts Red Seas still and raises the dead back to life.
I am a believer and I'm great at believing great things....for others. But when it's my turn to walk on the water, I find my first step often leaves me drowning.
I recently got a call from a friend asking me to stand in prayer with her for some emergency funds that were needed. We prayed and I trusted that God heard my prayer. About two days later she called saying that not only did she get the funds she needed, but she got extra.
Insert rejoicing....and a big heaving sigh.
This happens over and over. I believe for others, but when it comes to me, my belief falls flat.
Anyone out there know that feeling?
I shake my head at the children of Israel who time and again had a struggle with the sin of unbelief. I would have never imagined unbelief to be my bedfellow had the Word of God not slapped me with the truth the other day.
I just got started reading the book of Deuteronomy when the unbelief that stains my saved heart stared right back at me through the mirror of scripture.
...and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’
Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the Lord your God,
who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night and in the cloud by day, to show you by what way you should go.
- Deuteronomy 1:31-33 (ESV)
The you that Moses was referring to here were the unbelieving children of Israel who did not believe that God would bring them victory--even though He'd delivered them out of Egypt and sustained them in the wilderness.
Just as God has clearly done a work in the past for the children of Israel, He also went before them. And He's doing the same for me--and for you too! How easy it is to look at what we thought were days of ease and let the struggles of our current situation drive us to unbelief. God did it before, surely He can do it again.
As I write this, the words from Nichole Nordeman's song "Help Me Believe" started playing in my head:
Take me back to the time
When I was maybe eight or nine and I believed
When Jesus walked on waters blue
And if He helped me, I could too if I believed
Before rationale, analysis
And systematic thinking
Robbed me of a sweet simplicity
When wonders and when mysteries
Were far less often silly dreams
And childhood fantasies
Help me believe
'Cause I don't want to miss any miracles
Maybe I'd see much better by closing my eyes
And I would shed this grownup skin I'm in
To touch an angel's wing and I would be free
Help me believe
Lord, help me to believe because I don't want to miss any miracles. I don't want the sneaky sin of unbelief to become my default mode of operation.
I'm discovering that the greatest threat to unbelief is trusting the fact that God is good all of the time. In His goodness, He does good to and for me. For the LORD is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. -Psalm 100:5