"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
Your faith is forced into the open. Somewhere inside us, under all the fears and insecurities and anxieties lies something that God has gifted to each of us when we first opened our ears and hearts and lives to Him. It is the heartbeat of our walk with Him, and without it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6).
I have to admit I squirm when people refer to my faith and pair it with words like "inspiring". As if I possess the kind of faith it takes to walk this road, when really... my daily life oozes with faithlessness. In much the same way that courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to act in spite of it, so it is with faith. We are not (yet) people of great faith. This is not a fun experience for us and while we seek to keep our courage and cling to peace like a lifeline, most of the time I feel like I am floundering in an open ocean being kept afloat by nothing more than the knowledge that He is sovereign and He will not let us drown. A truth I need to remind myself of daily.
Daily I struggle with multiple variations of "what if's" and feel panic begin in my chest and rise to my throat when I contemplate the uncharted (for us, we know He holds the master map) territory ahead. Daily the questions how and when and where and who tumble around in my weary mind and daily I have to re-surrender them, take a big shaky breath and remind myself that the faith walk requires us to let go of the need to know and embrace the two simple commands to trust and obey.
To view faith as the diamond that God is forming in me that will sparkle for eternity in the light of His glory brings a quickening to my heart. How can one forget the moment the velvet box was opened and we were presented with a diamond in a setting of gold and the question that set our hearts to pounding? To view my life as an I do, and my faith as the diamond pledge to the lover of my soul changes how I respond to pressure. Instead of seeking to squeeze my way out of it, I will submit to His intentions to squeeze the impurities out of me.
"So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way." James 1:4