I used to think faith was a bit like optimism on crack, a Technicolor gala, resplendent with flashing lights and ear-splitting praise, maybe sort of like the Super Bowl half time show.
Or maybe faith was like a high energy spin class where the music was pounding and a spandex clad instructor channeled her inner drill sergeant to push me beyond anything I could imagine accomplishing on my own. Go! Go! Go!
At the very least, faith was like the Lego Movie, a fast paced adventure in which everyone sang in perfect harmony while accomplishing the impossible.
“Everything is awesome!
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!
Everything is awesome
When we’re living our dream!”
But what about when it isn’t? What about those moments, or seasons, or long years when it isn’t awesome? What about faith then?
Sometimes faith is weeping until we can’t weep anymore, but doing it in utter honesty alongside The Great Comforter.
Sometimes faith is telling God we just don’t understand- Why hasn’t He shown up yet? Why doesn’t He show us what to do and how to do it? Where is deliverance and healing? How long, Oh, Lord, how long? (Psalm 6:3)
Sometimes, faith is found in the stillness, when all of our tears have been spent and we find that…we still love Him anyway.
Faith is taking His hand and finding the courage to take another step, even if it is a very small one.
It is asking Him to do “more than we can ask or even imagine” when all of the dreams we have dreamed have fallen apart. (Ephesians 3:20)
Faith can be the moments we hold onto the thread of hope that though we see absolutely no way out, Our Father knows our path and will be faithful to us to the end. (Job 23:10)
It can mean that we keep showing up- to read God’s word, pray, go to church, worship… We keep practicing our faith, even when there are no flashing lights, trumpets or even fuzzy feelings, until the darkness lifts, because even when we don’t feel God’s presence, His word has promised He is forever near. (John 14:18)
God isn’t asking us to be rock stars. Not all of us can be perfectly coiffed motivational speakers (Thank heavens, how obnoxious…)
But I have come to believe He is deeply honored when we choose to be real with Him in the darkness.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a colt, He was greeted as a celebrity and coming king. The crowds lined the streets, placed their cloaks on the ground before him, and waved palm branches (a symbol of Jewish nationalism). The people were praising Him so profusely that the Pharisees were furious. They told Jesus to tell everyone to cut out all of that praise. He responded that if the people kept quiet, the very rocks would cry out in praise to Him. (Luke 19:40)
The people were praising Him by crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
Hosanna is a strange word to western ears. Have you ever wondered just what it means?
Hosanna means…”Save us!”
Are you weary today? Brokenhearted? Have you waited for deliverance far too long? Faith doesn’t have to be flashy, my friend. It just has to be raw, honest…real.
In the moments when all we can do is cry out for mercy- God is honored in that too.