And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
~ Matthew 17:20
I wish that I could say that I never question my faith, but I do. I think that Jesus knew that we would have times when we would struggle. He watched as the Disciples, the people closest to him, struggled to believe that they could heal in his name, step out onto the water when called, and even doubted Jesus' experience until he showed the scars in his hands.
Our faith is meant to be easy, as Jesus shares. However, even in the presence of God, our faith can sometimes be lost among fears, doubt, and just daily struggles.
Sitting in the hospital room, a patient shares that she has prayed, but doesn't feel like anyone is listening.
A man living under a bridge looks to heaven as the rain continues and his last pair of dry socks get soaked and he looks at the ground and wonders why life is so hard.
A mother and child are in a horrific auto accident, and the mother is killed, leaving the father to raise his daughter alone, and he struggles to live with the idea that the man who caused the accident was driving with a suspended license.
The world is full of times when people ask "why?"
Jesus hangs on the cross dying, and cries out, "Why have you forsaken me?"
I often have difficulty with people when the response to these struggles is this, "God is just testing you."
It's as if by some act of God, God wants to know just the existence of that faith. No, that kind of theology often causes more harm than good. Of course there are going to be times when we have to wonder what it is that is going on, but we must remember this first, we live in an imperfect world surrounded by imperfect people, like ourselves, who are going to mess up and stumble.
God's presence provides for us times of mercy, grace and forgiveness, but also times to cry out, wonder, and be silent.
As I write my blog each day, I pray that God will provide words that will serve as a reminder of just how amazing the world actually is. I hope for words that will encourage and remind us that God is with us always, throughout all our human experiences. But mostly, that while we strive to love one another, and respect our neighbors as ourselves, that we recognize the sacred within and know that God holds us firmly in God's grip... even when we find that we are looking towards heaven, and only see the ceiling of the room that we are in.
God is there.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, I know that there have been times when I have questioned Your presence. Help me today to see You more clearly. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.