When I visited different Sunday school classes and Vacation Bible Schools growing up, teachers spent a lot of time impressing God’s faithfulness. I think they wanted us aware of how God came through for His people in amazing ways. I was awed by God parting the Red Sea, creating a world wide flood, Gideon’s army of 300 against a band of thousands, David’s victory over Goliath, and Daniel’s protection in the lion’s den. I was impressed with the lesson to not limit ourselves by what we can see and expect. I was taught to believe in God and trust in Him. By understanding the various, out of the ordinary ways of deliverance, I should always keep my heart open to the impossible when God is involved.
But, that wonder and awe can fade as we get older. The more we experience the rough edges and disappointments of life, we can become cynical. When we do not see great acts of deliverance in our lives, we may not hope and dream that they are possible. To keep believing in God, we may lower our expectations. We may start to believe God expects us to do all the work, or just abandon hope that anything will really happen at all. This level of faith can be expressed by such statements as “God can’t help our marriage,” “I can’t do this anymore,” “our kids are a lost cause,” “nothing will ever change,” etc. These admissions are made based on how we see things work around us. The norm, the status quo, becomes the model around which we form our expectations and prayers.
What if Moses refused to walk through theRed Seabecause of tidal waves? What if Daniel refused to pray faithfully because he knew lions would eat him in a heartbeat? What if David responded like the rest of the Israelites because of Goliath’s might and training? What if Noah never built the ark because world wide floods never occurred? We believe these stories are good to teach our children so they will believe in, and trust, the power of God. We want our children to believe all things are possible with the Lord. If this evidence is good enough for our children, why isn’t it good enough for adults? Where does this sense of wonder and faith go? Do we allow the failures of this world to get us to stop believing, stop hoping? Do we lower our expectations of God because we don’t want to be disappointed?
I believe in every one of the stories I listed above. I believe God is faithful to His people, and He is willing and ready to be glorified through them. He wants us to believe and trust in Him as did Noah, Moses, David, Gideon and Daniel. They had to look beyond the norm to believe in God’s way of doing things. They did not always start their journey with this kind of faith, but they did grow into it. There may be many reasons why the awe and imagination of what God will do wanes in our hearts. We may stop asking, stop dreaming, stop believing, but that is not want God wants. He wants us to believe, and act by that faith. Acting on faith can be scary, risky, and outside of the box, but that is what makes God’s work stand out.
Do you have the same awe in God?
Do your prayers reveal the same expectations and belief as we teach our children to have?
What have you done lately that did not make sense to others, but was firmly planted in trusting God?