The Waves of Faith

We were supposed to be in Costa Rica today, enjoying a trip my husband won at work. You still can’t count on travel yet.

The timing would have been an extra gift because we celebrated our 28th anniversary a few days ago. Measuring years is strange because it can feel like only the number changes. Well, OK, the outside everyone else sees changes, too. I feel the same inside.

In that amount of time married, we’ve obviously experienced the natural ebb and flow of love, contentment and patience. While ours is a good marriage, it isn’t always bliss. That’s normal for relationships, and since I’ve been in a relationship with God 36 years—I can tell you there are ups and downs in that, too.

That’s OK as well, because I don’t think we can sustain a spiritual honeymoon high in our current physical state. I’m reading Imagine Heaven by John Burke right now because of the near death experience ghostwriting I’ve done. So I’m certain it will be quite different in our glorified body, and we might even be able to sustain elation for eternity. (Update: the further I got through the book, the less I liked it.)

However, right now, eternal elation sounds tiring. And that’s why I think some lows in my relationship with God have to do with the natural me, the current limitations of my physical body and mind. Because of the unchanging characteristic of God, shifts in my faith and trust are born out of my limitations—not his. And they are normal.

Think of the passage where Jesus feeds the 5,000 in Matthew 14. His disciples felt every high and low from the first discovery that they didn’t have enough food, then mounting hope as baskets passed, and finally to awe when they collected the leftovers. It says in verse 22 that “immediately” Christ sent them away in a boat. The next time they saw him was when he approached on the water. Peter asked to join Christ, but he famously looks to the waves and sinks.

I also see myself doubt after witnessing great awe.

The story of Elijah on Mount Carmel is special to me because it was the first Bible story I ever heard. My dad would sometimes come into my sister’s and my room when we were young, and tell us stories. He became a believer and, after reading this in the Bible, decided it was a perfect bedtime story. I didn’t understand the violence, but it certainly left an eternal impression about the prophet’s certainty of faith. It wasn’t until years later that I heard Elijah’s very next move was to run away and cry out to God, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life.” 1 Kings 19:4.

I also see myself despair after great certainty.

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Experiencing ebb and flow in faith is sometimes merely fatigue. I don’t know why fear can follow times of victory instead of the easy trust you would expect. I’ve also experienced and heard from others that significant doubt or humbling precedes triumph. Wait it out, what you chose to believe dictates your next step. Then your next step becomes proof of what your faith is worth. A faith that doesn’t carry you through pain and fear isn’t worth much.

(Weathering doubt isn’t the same as a crisis of faith, which shouldn’t be ignored. I’m a supporter for everyone to reassess—even deconstruct their beliefs regularly.)

Moving forward through faith fatigue is securing your gaze on what you chose rather than looking down at the waves. That is a faith with immeasurable worth.

4 thoughts on “The Waves of Faith

  1. Letty says:

    I enjoyed the pictures you shared. One day my hubby Fernando & aI want to travel. Soon 😀

    Re: The Waves of Faith

    “ Because of the unchanging characteristic of God, shifts in my faith and trust are born out of my limitation – – not his. And they are normal.”

    We serve a never changing God! He is immutable. We can always count on his stability & love for us. He understands our humanity and provided a way to him. His name is Jesus.

Please share your heart. We learn from each other.