Tuesday, June 5, 2012

on faith...

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the idea of faith since we were in Ethiopia. Truth is that I always do when we go there (or anywhere overseas, for that matter). It seems that when I'm there in Ethiopia, I am forced to come to terms with the fact that my faith is puny at times. When I sit with ladies who don't know if they'll have food to give to their children, yet they praise the Lord continuously, I realize how shallow I really am.
When I hold the unbelievably bony hand of a child who doesn't have enough of anything, yet smiles bigger than the sun, I'm humbled by my lack of faith. When I watch those who are poor, in need, hungry, and thirsty cry out in praise to the Father above in a way that shows they KNOW He is listening, I am brought to my knees.

I've spent some time in the scripture reading about heroes of faith. I spent time reading about Abraham and Isaac (genesis 22, if you want to read it for yourself), and I'm simply amazed at this man's faith. I mean, here you have God telling Abraham "Go sacrifice the son you waited for all those years (like a hundred years people!)". And even more baffling is that Abraham simply "got up and went". There's so much meat here...the symbolism of the three days journey, Isaac carrying his own wood (so much like the three days that Jesus was dead prior to God's rescue and that He too carried His own cross/wood), but what gets me is the pure, unadulterated faith that Abraham possessed. He didn't argue. He didn't whine. He didn't ask someone else what they thought he should do. He just went. He trusted the goodness of God to either rescue him or comfort him. He LIVED faith, not just said he had faith.

Tigist kisses Ellie's picture
Last week, I spent a day with Ellie's birth mom, Tigist. This woman is phenomenal. Her spirit is unbroken, despite a life that has brought harships I can't even fathom. But what got me the most was when she said to me that "when I knew that you and Jeff were coming for Kedest (ellie), I knew she would be fine. And if she would be fine, then so would her sister, so I could trust placing her for adoption too". That is faith, folks. No, she didn't have faith in God (I'm praying that she will though!), but she had unresolved faith that her plan to save her children would work. And it has. Not only are her children safe and healthy, but they are flourishing. 

Abraham and Tigist both dared to step out on faith and do the unthinkable. And every single day, I'm invited to do the same. No, God isn't asking me to sacrifice my kids. But He is asking me to put them AFTER Him. Will I? He isn't asking me to make an adoption plan as a choice for my family, but He is calling me to speak up for the orphan and take care of them. He isn't asking me to move to a foreign land, but He is asking me to take clean water to the people of Ethiopia (to begin with). I'm not living in fear or oppression, but He has asked me to write the story of one who is/has.  I have a choice on whether I give in to doubt and fear or whether I take a step and reach for the hand of the One who is all I ever need to trust in.

How 'bout you? What will faith look like for you?


Lydia said...

Wow. Thank you, Holly. I needed this today. I tend to make God small. To make his abilities fit into a box thats just my size. He is so much bigger and capable of what I cannot even imagine.

Jo Ann said...

We serve an awesome God and I am so thankful that my children are following HIS plan for your lives. Because, like Tigist, I know that my children will be blessed; and Praise God, I have that faith because I know HIM. I'm praying that Tigist will come to that saving knowledge, too, someday! Bro. Mike spoke Wed. night about how Jesus asked people "What do you want". I want to be more like HIM everyday, and my children are inspirations in my life. I love y'all!