I’ve been listening to him strum for about a month now. Adding each week to his repertoire of knowledge and skills. It’s sorta magical.
It’s also sorta rough.
Because, of course, he’s eight and he’s learning...and it’s hard.
Each day he sits down to strum with his day and each day he and his dad sit beside each other and figure it all out. I couldn’t help myself, I wanted in too.
I asked him to show me, to tell me all about it, sure I would be able to help him better if I only knew. It was pride. And I know that it was pride the same way you know a mosquito just got you, it stings before you ever saw it there.
Certainly I’m more coordinated, more knowledgeable, more capable. Surely. But as I sat down to strum out a beautiful sound, the arching tunes I intended fell right out on the ground and landed with a splat.
Because whether you are eight or four times eight, conquering something takes practice.
Not the flakey when-I-remember kind either. Nope. It takes daily effort. Presence. Practice.
I’ve been hearing this word whispered every time I turn around lately...faithfulness.
At some point, I’m going to remember that when God really wants me to listen, He doesn’t mind repeating Himself.
Well, what is faithfulness?
The practice of faith.
Not the flakey when-I-remember kind either. Nope. Daily effort. Presence. Practice.
It may only take a mustard seed of faith to make that mountain in the distance jump into the sea, but it takes the discipline of faithfulness to follow Him step by step into the vast unknown.
So here we are, and we find ourselves looking far into the distance to see the mountain jump and we miss the chance to slowly watch the terrain change right under our feet. We want desperately to see that massive leap of faith without first learning to walk.
But maybe faithfulness means looking up.
Eyes on Him we will find we have scaled the mountain with Him. Bruised, broken down, and exhausted. Yes. But closer for having held tight to our Savior and taken a few more steps with Jesus each day.
Turns out we never needed that darn mountain to move in the first place.
Here is the thing, we are so hungry for a big faith moment. For the cure for our sickness. The balm for our wounds. The peace for our anger. So we reach deep down in our hearts and pull with every ounce of emotional energy we can find because we have been taught to connect our faith with our feelings.
It’s not that.
We are called to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, sure. But also all our minds and all our strength.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30
That is faith. And that is faithfulness.
It turns out one cannot be pulled from the other. Faith feeds our willingness to walk with Jesus. And walking with Jesus feeds our ability to believe what He says.
Faithfulness is found in the physical.
The bending of our bodies to His word. Moving our physical presents to our Bible even when we don’t feel like it. Moving our bodies to fellowship with the church when it really wants to put on pajamas and stay home. It’s eating the vegetable instead of the cinnamon roll because you heard him whisper healing in that discipline. It’s in kneeling down instead of yelling. Faithfulness is physical.
Faithfulness is found in the mental.
We study his Word. What does it actually say? Not what someone told us it said, what does it say? And in the practice of listening to the Lord we learn to listen to the world around us and use the brain God gave us. We learn to withhold judgement while we listen and think critically afterwords. We learn to combine the two and hold our world up to His Word. Where do I align? Where to I stray?
Faithfulness is found in the heart.
Ultimately this is where we will act on it. We have to believe with all our heart that what God says is true is true. It’s an act of the Holy Spirit and the more filled we are the less emotional energy we have to expend to find our faith in the moments we need to leap. The harder we run our race, the easier we will find it to fly.
Its seems like maybe when we are watching for the big mountain-moving-miracle maybe we should be watching too for the daily miracle of mercy. This healing sanctification that changes lives by changing days. Watch Him, walk with Him, and watch the mountain be conquered in ways you couldn’t have imagined.