Having Faith While Facing the Unknown
Updated: Dec 20, 2021
I have to admit the last few months of unemployment have been extremely rough. Finances could be a whole lot better along with the ups and downs of submitting job applications and trying to build business plans would have the average person in panic mode. But I've decided to opt out of panic mode, ceasing to search everywhere else for answers and settling for what seems comfortable at the time, just to repeat it all again. Although this roller coaster of a train ride seemed to be going nowhere fast, when I got on, one November morning right before Thanksgiving, I began to see glimpses of light. It was then, time to consider where God had brought me, how He had taken care of us along the way, and to explore the places He has me going. In short, God was telling me, "It's time to increase your faith."
That morning I went from my journal, to saying God I want to know You more. I walked to a barely touched book shelf in our home and discovered a workbook that hadn't been written in called, "Experiencing God," by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King. I found out recently, one of my best friends, another person I met through a job opportunity her husband and her Pastor, are all reading this same book (The Holy Spirit is speaking and these testimonies I have to share are mind blowing)! Apparently my husband used this book in a Bible Study before we married, and I decided it was mine to claim. Immediately, I was given scriptures that pertained to what was going on in my life.
Worry and Control is NOT an ACTION of Faith
At the time I didn't think I had problems with faith, but I knew that I was losing sleep cramming all the days, weeks and months in my head at once. I knew that thinking about my problems were contributing to not allowing God to be my Everything, my Peace, my Source, my Provider, my Guide. I first had to train my mind to not worry about tomorrow, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34. I could be washing dishes and thinking about something the kids had to do at school the next week, and I literally would have to whisper, "Lord give me Your daily bread, please help me focus on today." In focusing on today, that doesn't mean there is no plan, it just means you don't focus on tomorrow's part of the plan, ask God what to do and do what can only be done today.
Through the Word of God, I've learned so many things about Who God is and His Will for our lives. I've also learned just how much we struggle due to a lack of faith. We often forfeit our blessings trying to control our lives because we tell God where we want to go and what we want to do rather than asking Him how can we join Him in what He is doing and what does He want us to do, so that He can reveal Himself to us. Jesus says, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21. So where will our belief take us when we actually exercise faith and be obedient?
As stated earlier, it's been rough, but I refuse to give in to panic and worry. But when the Holy Spirit convicts you, through prayer, circumstances, the Bible, and church, it's impossible to not take a faith posture and act on what God is telling you. Today was one of those days where I cried and wanted to fold up into God's arms like a little baby, I literally was hearing and reading His call to action, but as human nature would have it, I was not only hearing God's voice but the voice of concern from others I love. After leaving a Walmart, I saw a woman standing on the corner, she looked to be about in her mid 40's and she was holding a sign that said, "Someday I will no longer hold this sign, "Homeless." Considering our own financial situation, I dug into my pocket and handed her a one dollar bill and told her, "I don't think I can give much more, but here you go." I turned the corner and the Holy Spirit told me to go back, because this is greater than you think, I'm approaching a chapter in the workbook about God sized blessings, so I believed it and drove back to her thinking, "God is about to bless her socks off!" I asked her if she didn't mind me asking, how she ended up in her position. She told me that she was married, and before she separated from her husband she was unemployed and he left and she had nothing. I could somewhat relate to what she was saying, as a matter of fact, in October, I listened to a woman practice a TedEx speech at an event for women entrepreneurs, that brought the realities of women with children and the potential of not having financial security home, especially if they were unemployed. Her speech made me seriously consider my business plans for our family's future. The truth is 1 in 4 people in Dallas County live at or below the poverty line. It is sad that a city like Dallas, where I was born and raised, is in the top 20 of U.S. cities with the highest median household income, but is also in the top 10 of U.S. cities with the highest percentage of people who live below the poverty level in the most populated cities in the U.S. While the obvious stood in front of me, a young woman holding a sign indicating she was possibly homeless, it was our lengthy conversation that led to tears that sat in the beds of our eyes but refused to fall because we could not let negative circumstances get in the way of our opportunity to praise God in the midst. We used our testimonies to lift each other up, I told her about my budget and that I didn't want our problems to be a distraction to God's calling on our lives and though I sat in the comfort of a vehicle, and Annisha (I learned her name) stood firmly outside speaking Life even over my situation, I knew then that whatever her story, we could possibly be more alike than we realize. She professed to me that she knows God to be a provider and to come through, even when everything else looks dim and she believes He will every time.
It's Gonna Be Big
Before the kids and I left home for school, we listened to the Erica Campbell Morning Show as we usually do and it was as if God as He usually does, provided my playlist for today. James Fortune, "I AM," played loudly through our home, and after my husband and I talked about the things we should do, "Big," by Pastor Mike, Jr., came on and I danced around in excitement believing that whatever God has in store, as the song says, "It's Gonna Be BIG!" I asked Annisha if I could take a picture of her sign and wanted to know if she had a phone or where I might find her again, she didn't have a phone and didn't know where she was going, but I said "That's ok God does. I know that God is going to make it possible for your sign to be true, he's going to do something big for both of us."
The truth is, I know I am not the only one in a season like this or like Annisha's season, but God is good and having faith of a mustard seed will prevail over any negative situation in our lives. God's Word tells us in Philippians 2:13 that "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." We often operate as if we know what we need to do to solve our problems, we believe that action is the result of us working and trying to make it happen on our own, but there is nothing we can do without God and some things we are not able to do at all. "Jesus looked at them and said, "With Man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God," Mark 10:27. Sometimes God tests our belief so much to see what choice we will make especially when He has given us an opportunity to see His work and plan for our lives. Many times we choose the road that is most familiar to us, we talk to people looking for answers to problems that if we can't solve them, surely they can't! But what if we fell to our knees and raised our hands and surrendered to God, that which is His, our money, our jobs, our children, our minds, our hearts. How selfish is it of us that He displayed His ultimate sacrifice of Love while we continue to move on our own accord?! Free will is not only the opportunity to choose it is also the wisdom of knowing that your choosing should always start by asking Him what He wants us to do and how to move in that direction. As parents, our children may be given little decisions to make, choosing this over that. They can make a choice for themselves and in the next couple of days, you might find their choice in the middle of the floor trampled. But when parents guide or influence a child's decision in the best way we know how or through prayer, we often choose what our children need over what they want, because we know them and their situation best. That guided decision will always have a plan and a purpose. The real truth is we have to stop seeking self for answers and hold fast to John 14:6, "Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
Who Do You Believe God or Man?
There are plenty of Annishas living in conditions that some of us are teetering on or could never imagine living. Annisha was strong enough to tell me, that we fall sometimes, but we have to have the faith to get back up each time and believe God is who He said He is and follow Him. If we believe that God is who He says He is, that He is the Sovereign God who knows us better than we know ourselves, whose ways and plans exceed our plans then it is time to surrender what we know to His infinite wisdom and have faith in the unknown. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen." God sized blessings require God sized faith that no one else has seen and no one else can do BUT God. He gets the glory when we allow Him to work through us.