She sat across from me on my front porch and told me, “I heard recently that faith is the opposite of sight.” She’d previously published a piece that said it was the opposite of fear and as I sat there considering both those statements I was forced to believe that they are each pretty spot on.
When we fear the things going on in our lives, or those things that could potentially happen to our families, it is because we are living from a place that lacks faith in the incomprehensible power of the Almighty God we claim to trust. That fear invades our mustard seed faith and hides it in darkness where it cannot grow.
Yet, it’s equally true that when we live in fear of the future we are trembling behind the darkness and unable to see. We long for that foresight to understand what is to come. We beg for reassurance in bleak circumstances and in our blindness we place more hope in vision than the faith that will sustain us in the midnights of our souls.
I can tell you that being a single mom of three kids often feels very black, dark, and bleak. I cannot see how the bills will be paid, how I’ll feed my kids, or where we’ll end up in the next 3 months. There’s lots for me to fear. Lots for me to wish I had 20/20 vision about. And, many times I cry in those seemingly hopeless, faithless moments.
The valley is a lonesome place. The mountains of previous experiences and hopeful new heights block out the light of the Son in those moments. It’s a sad truth. And I am not any better at mustard seed faith than anyone who reads these. Though that same friend called me “braver” than I know, I can admit freely that I am far too often weak in the valley. No doubt this is why He frequently brings me back.
There’s a verse in the Bible prior to the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt that says they experienced a “darkness that could be felt.” I wonder if you have had a similar experience. Where the light of all hope has been blotted out and the enemy whispers to you, “It’s impossible. You’re a failure.” I have heard that voice many times in this life.
But, I was driving home from the shop one day, recently, crying my eyes out to God. Telling Him how sorry I was that I always seem to screw things up. I was lamenting some of my decisions over the last year as none of them seemed to have been beneficial to making productive gains in this life. And, then, that still small voice whispered to me, “You’re not a screw-up.” I knew instantly, that He was speaking and though I was infinitely grateful for His reassurance I couldn’t shake that thought.
When I left my husband I had to make some difficult decisions and choices for my family. I prayed about them all, I assure you, and yet, here we are a year later, deeper in debt and looking at potentially losing the humble place we call home. How could I be anything but a screw-up? I was at my wits end when I called the friend I mentioned before.
She came; and when I asked her if she had anything to say to me, as I know God speaks to her without hesitation, she said, “I was praying for you on my way over here and all I know is I’m supposed to tell you that those things you think are failures were obedience. I don’t know what that means, but…” I hadn’t shared with her my heartache and depth of darkness so there was no mistaking His voice therein. He was telling me again, “You’re not a screw-up.”
I don’t know what’s going to happen with my housing and job situation. I certainly can’t see anything definitive making things all better. But, He used my friends (and she’s definitely not the only one He placed in my path during that darkness that could be felt– they know who they are) to reassure me that I am not a screw-up, that I acted in obedience and that He’s still got this.
It’s a shame that after so many years walking in faith with Him that I would need this reminder, but need it I did. Faith is the opposite of sight, and when you’re in the darkness that can be felt, rest assured that He’s right there with you.
Featured Image by: Sean Brown (Unsplash)