This post will be sort of a two-in-one. Bear with me. I had been planning to blog about a trip to Yosemite that we took this past Labor Day weekend. I could spend time telling about how we had no reservations and looked until a little later than dusk before we finally found a place to park our camper for the night. How setting up our camp that night in the dark we really had no idea of our surroundings as we were in the middle of a forest that really wasn’t even a campground. That the 1,000th and last campground we checked (that was keeping with all the others in being full) had a sweet young lady who directed us to said forest and told us we were allowed to camp there for free (praise be to God)!!!
Or I could tell of how we broke down the last day (miraculously at the gas station in the park) still over four hours from home with no cell service. How we prayed and prayed and after an hour of moderate anxiety and trusting God to work it all out, the truck finally started and has been running perfectly ever since!
As wonderful and fun and special as the weekend truly was, I think I would rather share about something that has likely been experienced by most believers. Since I decided not to share about Yosemite (wink) I will include some of our photos of the trip throughout this post.
This morning I wrote a prayer to God that asked him to help me to know what is true and to help me believe it. There are times of doubt or even cloudy understanding about God’s word or His ways or His plans. These times can be deeply upsetting to me because I don’t want to have doubt. I hate doubt. One time I heard someone say that one shouldn’t want to include anyone in a prayer group who has doubt. If that is the case, I would then have to be excluded because I have times of doubt. Believing without seeing (faith) is not always completely free of unwanted doubt.
There are times when my faith seems so strong and I am soaring high above all the days of struggle. It’s very easy to believe during those times. My faith is not measured by how good I feel about it. In fact, I don’t think I should measure my faith at all. Only God fully knows my heart. My own heart and feelings can deceive me. When I don’t see clearly and my certainty is shaky I cannot trust in my own understanding. The best thing I can do in those times is run to God and tell Him all about it.
Today I ministered to the beautiful people at one of the hospitals where I volunteer. The passion isn’t always there for me and sometimes I wonder if I’m even making a difference. Ministry can be quite discouraging at times. Just showing up and keeping at it when there are no feelings of awe and/or without seeing clear results is an act of obedience that demonstrates faith in God – feelings or no feelings.
God encouraged me through them, yet again. There is one woman in particular whose childlike joy and optimism and gratitude bring tears to my eyes. She often tells me that she loves me and thanks me for singing. She needs a hug from me each time I visit, and she expresses deep and precious gratitude for those hugs. I pondered on the drive home how her positive attitude in less than great circumstances and joyful contentment must be such a beautiful thing in the sight of God. She is ever eager to hear about Him and to learn. She will sing along when invited to even if she doesn’t know the song. SHE IS BEAUTIFUL. Her beautiful heart reflects God’s love. My faith was strengthened and my doubt made of no consequence as He responded to my plea to help me believe what is true. His love is ever true and endures even in the face of doubt.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5, 6