Friday, January 27, 2017

Faith like a child. It's a beautiful phrase, and I grew up in faith, with a mother who deeply loved and believed in God. In my bedroom hung an embroidered picture of Jesus with little children, and I used to imagine that I was one of the children, assigning my brother and cousins to the other figures. In our kitchen hung a sampler Mom had made, with the text: "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 127:1). I even remember being a young child and making a cross from sticks, then putting it in a grassy corner of the backyard, near our strawberry patch.
And yet with all that love and support for my faith, I came to a time in my life where I put my own needs and desires before my trust in God.  A lot of us are like that, I think.  Because of pain, damage, or disappointment, we get so hungry for a solution, for satisfaction in the world's terms, that we try to grab what we think we need instead of waiting for God to fulfill us. We don't trust God to give us the best.
All the time I was apart from God, I felt a deep sorrow.  The sorrow came from within me, but it also resonated through my spirit, as if God grieved, too. I know that I never stopped loving God, but obedience seemed too hard.  I thought, "if someone is starving, they have a right to steal bread." I tried to steal happiness.
Thankfully, God never gave up on me, and I eventually recognized that my only true joy could come from living as God intended. I began to build on a firmer foundation and each day grow closer to my childhood trust, joy and peace.
I pray that none of us ever leave true joy behind, in search of quick fixes, shallow satisfaction.

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