Knowing a Faith that’s Strong Enough
Over the past holiday weekend, my family visited my hometown for a few days. When the kids were in bed one night, my husband and I went for a run around my neighborhood. As we started out, I gazed at all the houses that I had passed by so many times before. It had been years, but I knew each turn. I knew each hill, and I knew what house I’d be turning the corner to see. I knew the distance of the loop, and I could visualize its layout in my head as we ran. I had biked these roads for hours, I had walked them, hustled to the bus on them, and occasionally (very slowly) I ran them too.
How amazing to have something so imprinted in my memory that I know what the next turn is, even though it’s been 5, 10, or 15 years later. As I marveled at this, I couldn’t help but to think how I long to know my Savior in that way.
Do I know his character like this? Do I know his truth like this? Have I rehearsed it, read of it, meditated on it to where it is in the forefront of my mind when I need it? Do I really know the evidence of his steadfast love, of his mercy, of his power so those are truths seared into my memory?
It reminds me of the verses in Deuteronomy 11:18 to “lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
While this seems like such a happy Instagram worthy verse, the truth is God’s reminding them of the blessings he will give them if they obey him as their God and describing in detail the destruction they will see if they don’t. (Kind of makes you think twice before putting that on a coffee mug, eh?)
The truth is though, that’s what I need- and that’s what I want- the whole truth. If I’d be honest, I so easily forget the character of God. I forget the warnings he gives again and again through the Bible, and I forget the promises he has made. I may be able to bring up those popular verses if I need to, but their messages seem to get drowned out by my circumstances.
The truth is though, that’s what I need, and that’s what I want. The whole truth.
I want to know Him like I know that neighborhood of mine- fully, automatic, and permanent. How do we do that? Not by checking boxes of “Got my reading done”, not by solely pulling out that prescription verse for anxiety, or that prescription verse for sorrow. While those Instagram-worthy verses are beautiful, powerful, and no less of God’s Word- they are an echo of much more to build upon.
How do we know Him more? I think we do it by seeing God for who He is in all the pages of the Bible. I think we do it by seeing that the verse we always turn to when we are anxious- yea it’s truth is actually reiterated a whole lot more times in the Bible than just then. That verse about God being a comfort? Yeah- it’s displayed even further through his treatment of Hagar, through countless Psalms, throughout Jesus’ actions in the gospels as well as Paul’s letters. That verse about God’s faithfulness? That truth is beautifully woven into every story in those rich pages- all the way from creation to the final battle in such intricate and awe-inspiring ways. How do we know Him more? I think we do it by seeing his character in the stories we have read since Sunday School and seeing it even in the ones we skipped over because they seemed too complicated. Then it’s doing it again. And again. And again. And again.
I won’t pretend I’ve got this mastered, because I don’t. But I want to keep growing. I want these truths seared in my memory. I may not have any idea of the situations that will come my way, but I can be sure of the character of my God. I want to know him well, and as fully as I can. Will you join me?