Wednesday, May 13, 2009

O ye of little faith ... that's been me

Precious Sisters in Christ,

I have been the woman of little faith. This past month, I've allowed the enemy to get the best of me and found myself lowering my shield several times too many.

Just as I prepared to write about the Armor of God, I failed to keep mine in place. When we lose our faith, even for a minute, it's a minute too long. That seemingly insignificant amount of time opens the window of opportunity for the devil. He is sure to strike. His arrows pierce and wound. Thank goodness, THANK GOD, that God is there to heal our wounds, pull us out of the water, and soothe the raging seas around us.

The following scriptures demonstrate so perfectly how Jesus is our Rescuer in times of trouble and the Restorer of our faith. I'm reminded that I'm not the first warrior to lay down her weapons, and I won't be the last. Sadly, centuries ago, the men and women who walked with the Savior in their very midst, struggled with faith. Please, read the following:

Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Luke 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matthew 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Matthew 14:30 But when he [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

I'm guessing the question you might be asking right about now has to do with my current status. Is my shield raised and ready? It's in my hand (that's an improvement) and I'm raising it higher each day.

I share not only my victories, but also my struggles with you, because I believe it's important as Princess Warriors for Christ to be vulnerable, transparent, and open with our sisters and other believers. During tough times, the devil does everything in his power to convince us to hide. Just as Adam and Eve headed for the fig leaves, we often shut ourselves away from the world and the people that love us. I've done just that. My pride, yes, pride, has kept me from really seeking help. Maybe, you'll recognize this deceitful message: "Goodness, Carol, you're in ministry, a speaker, writer, leader (blah, blah, blah) what would people think of your current lack of faith? You're an encourager. You must keep that smile on. Remember the "Happy all the Time" Mask? Yep, that's the one.

I remember not to long ago reading the following quotes about Mother Teresa from her personal journals:

"I have no Faith - I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart - & make me suffer untold agony," she wrote in an undated letter.

In 1956, she wrote: "Such deep longing for God and ... repulsed empty no faith no love no zeal. ... Heaven means nothing pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything."

Mother Teresa acknowledged the apparent contradiction with per public persona, describing her ever-present smile as "a mask" or "a cloak that covers everything."

Friends, we all struggle. We all doubt. We all lose faith at times. Thankfully, God tells us all we need is a mustard seed to move mountains. Although I grew weary of wielding my shield, I was able to carry that tiny mustard seed in my heart. It was just enough to keep me going; just enough to remind me that God is real and He cares not only about me, but also about you.

If you, too, are in a dark time, wondering where your passionate faith has gone, don't despair! The One who saved you reaches his nail scarred hands toward you, eager to pull you into His embrace. Let us humble ourselves and admit our lack so He can fill us up.