What’s faith about?

I’ll tell you what it’s not about: the person with the faith. It’s more about the one she has the faith in.

Trusting in an undependable person is madness. Trusting  in someone entirely reliable makes sense.

By the time I could sit laughing about my empty gas tank and pocketbook, I’d repeatedly seen God provide in amazing ways. “My” faith was about Someone Who’d already proved Himself the great Provider.

The Provider’s “Track Record”

New teaching assignment looming ahead at a school requiring “professional” dress, and I with nothing “professional” but my one interview suit—and no clothes money, I talked to God about it, and Matthew 6:28-33, and immediately, someone told me about the annual “Whale of a Sale,” the Junior League held “coincidentally” just before school’s opening day. Result: full wardrobe of fully lined 100% wool skirts and blazers, beautiful blouses and sweaters–for around $20! (Just take it out of groceries!)

When I needed a reliable car to get to job interviews, then later the job itself, and my (truly rusty!) “rust bucket” would no way pass state inspection, I took that need to God alone, and before inspection time rolled around, I owned a brand new, paid-for Mustang!

When all human attempts failed to find affordable rent, I prayed, saying I’d live,wherever God wanted, but decided I could mention the kind of little house and setting I’d most like. The real estate agent called, and directed me down that long, curving drive to just the cottage I’d imagined!

When, after contracting to rent it, I couldn’t scrape together the required escrow deposit, I said to God, “I thought you directed me to this house to rent, but I guess I’m going to have to eat crow and call the agent and tell her I don’t have the money, so I can’t rent the house.” But before I could call, the phone rang. It was my parents, saying, “We’ve been thinking. We don’t see how you could possibly have the money for all the deposits you must have to make…”

Things like that happened again and again. So when the problem of no gas and no money arose, which would be more logical to believe, based on all past evidence: that God would supply my need, or wouldn’t?

Blind Faith? Or Blind Unbelief?

Faith is not blind. Faithlessness in such a case would be blind–blind to all the evidence of past intervention and provision.

But how does faith begin? As a note in my Open Bible says (essentially), “Some people say that seeing is believing, but that’s not true. First you believe, and then you see.” But how do you believe… if you don’t believe?

That was my question, way back when I heard that radio message on Romans 10:9-13. (And why was I listening to that, anyway? I didn’t listen to stuff like that!) How could I–a skeptic if there ever was one–make myself believe? The radio preacher answered by quoting Jesus’ words to a man in desperation, “All things are possible if you believe”–and then the man’s response, words that became my prayer: “I believe; help Thou my unbelief!”

That prayer launched my faith’s maiden voyage. But that certainly wasn’t the last time I prayed it! Over and over I’ve called on God to strengthen my faith in Him and His word.

In fact, I just prayed that prayer this week. Though I believe He will meet all my needs, I still need His Spirit to strengthen where I’m weak.

“I believe, dear Heavenly Provider. Help my blind and foolish unbelief!”