Stepping out on faith

I’m starting to feel my age more every day. I’ll be forty-four this year and each week it feels like something different is hurting or about to fall off my body. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but only by a little. Yesterday I experienced an unexpected cramp, pinched nerve, or muscle pull in my right hip. I was off from work and was planning to go for a walk in my neighborhood to enjoy the beautiful day, but soon realized it hurt to move, it hurt to sit, and it hurt to walk, so I ended up laying on my bed most of the day. This thing caused pain that seemed to spread to the surrounding areas throughout the day and had me in tears. I just wanted relief. I really wanted the pain to go away quickly because I had plans to go to a local festival today and knew that would require a lot of walking. Last night before bed, I prayed that the pain would go away and that I would be able to walk with no problems today. This morning, I woke up fine, but when I walked to the bathroom, I felt the same pain again. I came back and sat on my bed and felt the same pain. I thought about my prayer last night and wondered what went wrong. I mean, God is faithful, right? So why is my hip still aching? I’m of the belief that if I pray about it earnestly, God will do it. He’s done it before so why not now? As I was asking Him that, I heard the Holy Spirit say, did you really believe God would do it? Was there any doubt when you prayed? Mark 11:24 reads, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” I thought about it and realized that I didn’t pray like I believed He’d actually do it. I was just hoping He’d do it. Then I chastised myself for my lack of faith and prayed again, this time with the understanding that as His daughter, He would not fail me. The pain didn’t go away immediately, but the Holy Spirit told me not to worry about it and to just start walking, so I did. I literally stepped out on faith. When I walked downstairs in my apartment building to trade my slippers for my shoes (Japanese residence, remember) I felt pain, but I kept going. When I sat down to put on my sneakers I cried in pain, but I kept going. When I lifted each leg closer to tie up the laces I cried in pain, but I kept going. By the time I’d left my apartment building and started walking, I’d forgotten all about the pain. Within two blocks of my walk to the train station, which is about 1.5 km from my apartment, the pain was gone. It was if it were never there. In fact, I didn’t even think about it again until I sat down on the train and realized there was no pain when I sat. Yes! Another win for faith. Another win for God. God is awesome.

I was going through my journal today when I came upon this entry about faith dated July 15, 2015, which reminded me that I shouldn’t be surprised at God’s faithfulness towards me. It’s not new:

“It is now July and I have been living and working in Tokyo for about two months. I really like it here. I can’t tell if I like it so much because I genuinely want to be here or because this promise has come to fruition. Either way, I’m in a good place.

The one major thing this journey has taught me is about my faith in God. He has truly shown me how important it is to have faith and to remain faithful. He has demonstrated to me that His promises are fulfilled on the backs of faith. Each time I step out on faith, He rewards me.”

Faith works people. The promise I was talking about here was getting what I’d prayed for, a prayer which was the result of a desire God placed within me. In one week, I will have been here for a full year and I still feel the same. I still feel the fullness of God’s faithfulness towards me and I still feel an equally longstanding faithfulness towards Him.

There’s a song I love called, He’s Able. In this song is the lyric, “Don’t give up on God, ’cause He won’t give up on you. He’s able.” To put a finer point on it, 2 Timothy 2:13 reads, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” Even when we fail Him, He will never fail us, because he can’t. That alone should give us the encouragement to always remain faithful to Him. It doesn’t really cost us much and doesn’t take much effort. Jesus said all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. I recall one Sunday being in church when my pastor preached on faith. To illustrate his point, he brought in a wheel barrow full of mustard seeds and each one of us was invited down to get as many as we felt we needed. I grabbed a few and was in awe at how small they really were. That really impacted me, so I went home that day and printed out the scripture from Matthew 17 that I referred to above about the mustard seed and taped the seed to the paper. I posted it on the mirror in my bathroom and left another copy inside my bible as constant reminders about faith.

How big is a mustard seed?
Look at this dot “.” There you go. That’s all you need.

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