Committed to the Wait
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. (Thomas Aquinas)
Faith is somewhat of a hard concept for many of us to understand because it is 'elusive' and kind of linked quite closely to 'hope'. As a matter of fact, some would define faith as hope - the believe something will happen in a particular way or at a specific time. Take faith to mean there is a great confidence in something or someone and you are pretty close to what most people define as faith, but there are others that will assure you it is belief in something or someone that is not always based upon proof. They will ask if I can prove there is a God and I have to ask them if they can prove there is not a God of the universe. Even the belief there is no God is faith is something or someone other than God - such as self, the 'mystical' force that must be with you, or the like. Faith isn't a 'thing' - it is a commitment of heart and mind. We may not know totally why we are as committed as we are, but we know there is evidence our trust isn't unfounded. We see it in our own lives and in the lives of those around us who also have made this 'commitment' of heart and mind.
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. (Romans 5:1-2)
I like to fish, but I don't count on catching fish each time I go out to the river or lake. Why? It is the luck of being in the right place at the right time when the fish are specifically looking to eat that helps me catch fish - not much else really matters. I could have a cheap rod, or the most expensive. I could just have a length of fishing line and a hook. Regardless of how I am 'equipped' to fish, I am still 'hoping' for a nibble that ends up in a fish on the end of the line. Fishing is a 'faith' thing! I have to commit to the long haul of casting in, waiting sometimes a long, long time, and then hopefully I feel that tug. You know what - living with Christ is a lot like fishing - we have to cast in, hunker down for the long haul, and wait for the 'tug' that tells us we are spot on in the right place at the right time with the right things in hand for the moment we are experiencing.
There are times when the 'tug' we feel is really our hearts or minds responding in faith to something God is asking us to do. We take the first step, 'cast in' as it were, and then we wait. The hard part between any open door and us passing through it wasn't that the door needed to be opened, but that we had to wait for it to be opened! Think about the pattern Christ laid out when he said we knock and the door will be opened. Knocking doesn't always result in an immediate opening of the door, does it? I have often knocked on my daughter's door and had to wait for the cats to be herded into the corner, the deadbolt turned, the doorknob lock disengaged, then the process of unlocking the security door ensues. All the while what am I doing? Waiting in hopes of getting inside so I can embrace my grandsons and put a hug around my daughter's neck.
The doors we open are different from the ones God opens, though. Some of the doors he opens in our lives require us to wait, while others are flung open. The doors of salvation are flung open at the first knock. The door to do something or acquire something I may desire to do may require a little knocking and then waiting for the opening of that door. I am knocking on the door right now for something with God, but that door doesn't seem to be opening. Have I lost faith it will open. Nope. Why? I have come to appreciate that I need to 'cast in', honker down, and sometimes just wait. While I wait, what do I do? I look and listen. As I sit by the riverbank and wait for that tug on my line, do you know what I am doing? I am looking all around, watching the birds, appreciating the ants crawling along, and even marveling at the wild horses that come to the water's edge to drink. I am observing, taking in, and fully appreciating being right where I am.
God opens doors for us, but in the time between the knocking and the opening, don't despair. Appreciate the wait - observe the things put there all around you to see sometimes for the very first time, or actually notice even though they have been there forever! Just sayin!