I know it’s been a while, and though I have had a lot on my mind and heart, I just haven’t had the desire to put anything into words. But 26 days into the new year and I was wondering if anyone else’s 2016 hasn’t been going as good as you planned?
When you think of a new year, you tend to think that it will be a fresh start. That you can leave whatever bad things happened in 2015 and go forward into a new and better 2016. But for a Christian, while the Lord can most definitely have some wonderful things in store for his children, He might also have more trials. The devil knows his time is short and I know that I have felt his opposition stronger in my family, in our church, in our health, in our country. Everywhere….
Now, I don’t generally do resolutions. But I determined at the end of last year that my word for THIS year was going to be FAITH. Ironic, huh?? Haha. I had big hopes for this word. I claimed my verse – Matthew 17:20 “…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” I made sure I knew the definition of faith – complete trust or confidence in someone or something. I tried my hardest to make prayer/bible time a priority every day. I’ll tell you, I had high hopes. I mean, that verse says I only have to have faith as a grain of mustard seed and nothing shall be impossible to me. Not big faith. Cause my little faith is very small sometimes. Just faith. I have confidence that God is big enough for anything that I might face in life. And yet my mountains loomed high, right in front of me. They have not budged.
Surely I’m not the only one??
I started this blog to write down some of my thoughts and to share songs to hopefully encourage and be a blessing. Nothing speaks to my heart more than a Godly song that is inspired by a passage of scripture. Anyone that knows me, knows music is my life. I love to sing, I love to play the piano, I love to write songs, I just love listening to good music. Allllll the time. And so, I had my verse and my word for 2016 and I thought, I’m going to write a song. A special song just for me, to help me remember my verse. I tried for days. Weeks. To write something. Anything. And I got nothing. I would hear a song about faith and mountains, and think, there’s nothing new to write here. There are plenty of great songs that I could never improve on. So after much writing and re-writing and scratching out and lots of crumpled up paper, I gave up.
On the song. Not on my faith. I still had high hopes for that. My faith was gonna move mountains. Or God was going to crush the mountain into tiny pieces. Whatever or however God was going to do it, I was ready for God to do something. Anything.
Weeks went by and one of the things that I had been specifically praying for was in reach. I just knew God was going to move and answer this prayer. I had faith. More than enough to move one of those mountains. And the odds seemed pretty good in our favor.
I remember being in the kitchen and out of nowhere, the words “Once again disappointment settled in” came to my mind. I really didn’t think anything about it, because I was not going to be disappointed. Again. But as the day went on, God gave me the words to this song. I’ve never written one so easily. The words and melody seemed to flow straight from my heart onto the paper. I got it finished and just cried. And cried. I finally got my song but it was written completely differently than what I had in mind. Yet at the same time it perfectly conveyed what I previously hadn’t been able to put into words. That was the day before we got more disappointing news about the thing that was in reach. You know, nothing life altering or fatal or serious. Just disappointing. Because I had faith, Lord, that you were going to change this. You know?? Lord, you remember my faith? I’m trusting and believing that you are going to move this mountain. Remember me, Lord?? This year was going to be different. No more living in fear and doubt. Just trust. Faith.
But God ever so gently reminded me of this truth I know. It’s been drilled in my head since birth. (I say that in a reverential, non-bitter way!) But that day, it was written forever on my heart. True faith in God is complete trust in Him, even when that mountain doesn’t move. Even when the mountain doesn’t crumble. Even when I’m stuck in the valley, with mountains on either side. Even when He says, “Daughter, I know you’re tired but you’re gonna have to climb this one. I’ll give you the strength.” Even when I have absolutely no idea what in the world He could be doing. Even when I cannot understand how where I am can be what’s best for me. It’s not, Lord. Not even close to being best for me. You know this, Lord, better than me. So why?
Real, true, honest to goodness faith pleases the Father the most because it knows His way is best. When the bills pile up and there are no groceries in the house and you have tiny mouths to feed and there’s no extra money in sight? Faith says God knows best. When your family seems to be suffering from a stressful job situation and every little thing in life just seems to overwhelm you? Faith says God knows best. When you have a health issue that hasn’t been resolved in months or years and you just can’t do anything that you want to do because of it? Faith says God knows best. When you try with all that’s in you to live a Godly life for Christ and others seem to take you wrong or you see no fruit that anything you’re doing is worthwhile? Faith says God knows best.
The song God gave me is in no way superior to others with the exact same message. It may never be a blessing to anyone else. In fact, the fear that people are tired of hearing about Faith’s songs/thoughts has kept me from blogging for a while now. There’s always the unfollow button 😉 Hopefully though, it will help just one person. Even if it doesn’t it is still special to my heart. God gives us just what we need when we need it. And I needed to be reminded that faith is good. I still believe God can move my mountain. But I believe, even though it’s hard, that if my mountain continues to stand tall – GOD KNOWS BEST.
I remember as a child, my pastor gave this illustration from Bro. Jack Hyles childhood:
“When I was a little boy, my mother used to embroider a great deal. I would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering. I told her that it looked like a mess from where I was. As from the underside I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat. She would smile at me, look down and gently say, “My son, you go about your playing for awhile, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side.” I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few minutes would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Son, come and sit on my knee.” This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy. Then Mother would say to me, “My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a predrawn plan on the top. It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing.”
I can’t wait to see what masterpiece God is working in my life from what looks like a complete mess to me. This is faith. Not that I have it down, and not that my faith is perfect. It wavers daily. Sometimes minute by minute. But I choose to believe God when He said He would finish the work He started in me. Even as messy and tangled up as it gets on the underside, He has a Master plan and a design that He is following, that He created, and one day it will be complete!
I very humbly offer this song to anyone whose 2016 isn’t going the way you planned. Maybe someone who is standing in front of a mountain, just willing it to move. Someone who’s been in the valley long enough that they are starting to wonder if there will ever be a mountain to climb. Faith can move that mountain, but sometimes God leaves that mountain there to see if your faith believes that His way is best. (By the way, I’m still believing that mountain will move, but my heart is made up that I WILL trust Him even if it doesn’t.)