Like the chirping of the birds, or the gangling movements of newborn goats, the smell of horses and the wind blowing through the open car window as I drive down the country road, music blaring that can and does remind me that, inspite of my mood, God is still working for us.
It is easier than I like to admit, for me to wonder if he still is. I am grateful, that all that is required, is faith the size of a mustard seed, as often getting that is a chore. While I think I am resilient, I am not always the most optimistic person by nature. I say I am a realist, as do most more pessimistic people I know. I tell myself that being aware is half the battle… I usually give myself a moment to just “go there”, but then I do the best I can to pick myself up, dust myself off and find one of my rather annoying friends that always seem to see the silver lining in every situation … I am so grateful for them. God has given me many of them, I guess it goes to show that he knew I would need them.
Faith, for those of us that lean more on the pessimistic side of life, is difficult. Because, true faith isn’t just the ability to believe that God can do something…. all those who have faith… know that he can. True faith, is when we believe that not only CAN he, but he WILL. I have had conversations, some fairly resent with these rose colored glasses wearing friends of mine, and to them there is just a baby step in their FAITH between CAN and WILL. When, often times for me, it is more of a LEAP, across a 200 ft drop on a rocky cliff, while being deathly afraid of heights.
It is why, I have decided, that God plants so many reminders in nature. It is why when I need to hear his voice I head outdoors. It is why my soul responds to the singing and chirping of the birds, the compassion of a horse, and the joy of a new born goat as it playfully bounces around without a care in the world.
I can feel him as I sit on the ground playing with a weed, contemplating all the delicate parts that makes up the seed pods. Somehow in the presence of such things I draw strength. Enough so, that I can go back and and somehow squeeze out enough faith to meet the quota; measuring a mustard seed size of faith.
I am in the process of learning that answered prayer doesn’t happen only when the answer matches the outcome I think it should. The truth is that the definition of answered prayer, to those who have great faith, means that we have to expand our definition of what “answered” means… what it looks like….
Last November when I was so heartbroken, I had one of these super optimistic friends say to me, “Rene’ you have to stop believing that things happen TO you, and really grasp that all things happen FOR you.” That a loving God is doing work in you, and for you, and through you that doesn’t always look and feel like we might want.”
I have to admit, I had never really looked at it like that. A small shift in thinking, a change of a word, tipped the scale of my faith. God didn’t allow my heart to be broken, that was the responsibility of another, but God did allow it for me. To launch me into a new awareness of who and how to be in the world. Once I understood that, I could see all the reasons, all the ways that was true.
This winter has been a doozy. People I love fighting life threatening illnesses. My own health crisis. Friends’ marriages falling apart. Others that we care about dealing with heartbreaks of their own. Big things. Things I have no answers for.
And then, as always, I find myself out in nature being reminded that his love, his care and keeping, can be found in all the amazing vastness of his creation, and in the delicate little things too.