Friday, August 24, 2012

Cradle Faith: Acting it out

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Do you ever have trouble having faith that God is going to do something?  I think in today's world, it's so easy to play it safe with God.  To say that God could do something, versus saying that He will do something.  To tag the "if it be your will" on the end of our prayers, to give God an easy out in case He doesn't come through. 

So often I do not believe God to be Big.  And more often than that, I do not believe Him to be good.  Most crises of faith come down to the point that we don't believe that God is good to us. 

In Genesis, when God promised a child to Abraham, it tells us that Abraham believed God.  Even though he and his wife had been childless for so many years, as soon as God told Abraham they would indeed have a child together, Abraham believed.  Did you know that Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years after that promise was made before their son Isaac was born?  Twenty five years.  And yet it tells us that Abraham believed God.  Of course, we know that eventually Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands and as a result Ishmael was born.  But, if the Bible speaks of Abraham believing and it being credited to him as righteousness, I have to believe that Abraham didn't ever stop believing. 

In my head, I imagine Abraham being told by God that He would have a baby and immediately going out and preparing for it.  Maybe that very night he built a cradle for the child that was promised.  In James, it talks about how we must back up our faith with what we do.  James references Abraham as someone whose faith was perfected through his actions.  For years I have used the term "cradle faith" to describe this kind of faith; the faith that agrees with God and acts on it.  Faith that acts on God's word, even when circumstances are saying something contrary to His promise.  Faith that immediately goes out and buys a crib and stocks up on bibs and blankets as soon as the promise is given.

I remember in my twenties really struggling with being single, but being pushed by the Spirit within me to not only hope that I would get married, but to live like it was a certainty.  So as a result of that, I prepared myself.  I acted on the faith that my getting married was an absolute certainty.  Because even though my getting married wasn't something God promised in Scripture, it was something that I felt through the Spirit was something that would indeed happen.  It took longer than I thought (doesn't every college girl assume she'll be engaged before she's done with college?), but I did get married.  And my oh my, was the man God brought me worth the wait.

I find myself in another season of life where I am being called to cradle faith.  My husband and I are at the point where we want to have children.  Everyone around us is getting pregnant and having babies, and I have baby fever like nobody's business.  I have some conditions that affect fertility, and even though we are not making getting pregnant our main goal right now, my husband and I are at the point where we just don't know when or if it's going to happen.  I turned 30 this year, and my husband will be 36 in a couple of months.  We definitely are not spring chickens.  And sometimes making a baby isn't easy.  And I will confess that many days lately I have been eaten up with fear about it; even starting to grieve the fact that we may not be able to have kids when that is absolutely not a certainty, or even a solid idea at this point. 

I have felt God tugging at my heart lately to have faith that we will have babies--the "live it out as though it is 100% going to happen faith".  At first I didn't heed it because I thought the urge to have faith came as a result of my own desires and was fabricated by me, and not by Him.  When I am in constant prayer about something and the same thought keeps rolling through my brain, eventually I get a clue that God may be trying to tell me something (I'm a little too true to my hair color sometimes!)  God is calling me to live in faith.  Faith differs from hope because faith demands action.  So, I need to start living as though babies are a certainty, trusting God to do what He does.

Have you ever seen the movie "Facing the Giants"?  I love this quote from it:

Mr. Bridges: “Grant, I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain. And both of them prayed for rain. But only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?”

Coach Taylor: The one that prepared his fields for it.”

Mr. Bridges: “Which one are you? God will send the rain when He’s ready. And you need to prepare your field to receive it.”

God is calling me to prepare my fields.  To do what I can, and leave the results up to God.  And for goodness sakes, my type-A let's-have-everything-planned-out-and-make-things-happen self needs to chill out.  To stop making plans and back up plans, but to simply live as though a certain future is a certainty.  To honor God in everything that I do, and leave the rest up to Him.  He knows my heart, He desires to bless me. 

I never intended to write about this particular journey in any sort of public format.  But I feel God telling me to share it.  To be brave enough to speak it, trusting that God will fulfill this vision He has cast for us.  So, here we go.  I want to have babies.  I am trusting God to make it happen.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  Prepare to see him work.

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