Thursday, January 14, 2010

When Faith And Fact Collide

"I will bend Judah as I bend my bow
and fill it with Ephraim.
I will rouse your sons, O Zion,
against your sons, O Greece,
and make you like a warrior's sword." Zechariah 9:13

In the last few months, I've noticed an internal struggle sometimes. It's a struggle of faith. I have seen over and over these last months how God provides for our needs. Food has been in abundance, and really hasn't been an issue- Praise God! Gas money seems to show up just when we're running on low, even cash. You know, even though Andy hasn't been working in so long, I swear I've had a bit of cash in my wallet almost all the time. I'll use the last few dollars for something, and then someone comes along and literally presses a twenty into my hands. Or one will show up in the mail. Money for rent has come in just in time every month, and on the rare occasion where I write the check, not knowing how it will all be there, God does something awesome, and I don't have to worry about it.

God has also provided something completely new for Andy. A new opportunity within his job that he loves, and right now he's taking advantage of that opportunity- and he'll receive a real paycheck for it. The paycheck that can only come from God, because he almost never has income this time of year in the winter months. And yet... and yet there's the practical part of me that keeps fighting my faith part. When the money hasn't been quite there for an expense, I pray about it, but then I'm also looking for something practical I can do about it. Do I have anything that would fetch a handsome price on Ebay? Things like that.

More recently, it's been about our future home. We still think we want to move once the snow melts. But we still don't know where. More than once, I've just felt that God was going to take care of it- that He was going to show us where we are to be when the time is right. I was specifically told to have patience, that it will all work out. But, I keep seeing the practical matters of it, and it's so hard to just let the faith win out! The practical fact is that we do have a lease that will be up- I can pray that we will be able to extend it for a month or two, but it would really be easier to just be able to say that we are in fact, moving. The practical fact is that we are looking for some specific things when it comes to our new home- and this is where the faith really collides! I want the extra space in the house, and the extra large yard. In the communities we're looking, those homes are so few and far between, and well, well out of the price range we're looking.

So more than once, I've thought to myself, as I'm looking at homes, that maybe I'm asking for too much, maybe I need to settle- I need to give up the idea of the extra guest bedroom, or look more than once at the smaller yards- I can garden small scale, I have been for years. But then, just before Christmas, I was sitting at the computer, looking at the same homes that I've been looking at for weeks, wondering if I should look closer at them, when the thought came to me to think big. If I could just pick one, if money was not an issue, and I could have my choice of what's available out there right now. So I did. I picked one, and I told God that was what I wanted. I even showed it to some family over the holidays. Yet it doesn't make any physical, logical sense. There is absolutely no way that we could find ourselves living in that home.

Except that I have a really big God, and for Him, earthly money means nothing.

The other night I was looking again at the homes available, and before I crawled into bed, I was wondering to myself if maybe we should consider driving by a few of these after church on Sunday- again, settling for the smaller, but maybe they could be okay. And then I had a dream that I was looking at house after house, and the whole ordeal was such a struggle. I was literally having trouble walking in these houses, and right towards the end, I remember looking in a mirror, and my teeth literally shattered and fell from my mouth.

"Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot
Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble. " Proverbs 25:19

The faithless man. Unbelief. Oh, I so want to believe. I want to hang onto my faith and have my faith in my God who will provide for all our needs. I want to stop worrying about the impending lease deadline, and I want to stop focusing on finding a new home. I just want to let God drop it on us- literally. The physical self, though, sometimes wants to take over. That's part of what the first verse I shared today is about.

"I will rouse your sons, O Zion,
against your sons, O Greece,
and make you like a warrior's sword." Zechariah 9:13

God is talking to men of faith here- that's what Zion means, men of faith. And the men of Greece, those are the thinkers, the men of logic and understanding. And right here, we see that the men of faith will be like a warriors sword, and will defeat the men of logic. Meaning that my battle- my battle between faith and logic already has an outcome. The faith will triumph over the logic. I just need to keep telling myself that. I need to keep praising God because I know the outcome already- and I need to thank Him for all that He has done for us already, and will continue to do, because all that He does is really for His glory- not mine. He doesn't do things for us so that I have a great story for my blog- He does things for us because He loves us. And as we receive these acts of love from our Father in heaven, we get to share all He has done with everyone we know. God gets the glory for everything!

If we go to the first part of that verse, we see the key to faith winning over the logic, and that is praise.

"I will bend Judah as I bend my bow
and fill it with Ephraim. " Zechariah 9:13

Judah means praise, so think of praise like the bow that launches an arrow. And Ephraim means double fruitfulness- or double blessings. So as we give God the praise in everything- whether it be good times or bad times, that praise is bending the bow, which is filling with double blessings, and getting ready to launch.

Personally, I'm ready for it to launch. But I am holding to patience, because I do know one thing- God's timing is always, always perfect. He knows the precise time to release the bow so that the arrow strikes the bulls eye. I will not yield to my physical self that tells me to act- the self that tells me to take matters into my own hands, because as long as I cling to faith and patience, the results will come, exactly when they are supposed to. I will wait, and I will praise God, because He is so good, all the time. And no matter what happens in the months ahead, I will love Him with all my heart, soul, and strength.

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5

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