I am excited to welcome my friend, Andy Vaughn, to Treasures Hidden as a guest blogger. Andy is a kindred hope sharer and Jesus follower. I suppose I can get over the fact that he is an avid dog-lover. And I must confess I’m totally jealous of his new espresso machine and wish that he’d quit posting pictures of amazing homemade Americanos and lattes on his Facebook page. Please read … I know you’ll be encouraged by his words, as I am.
guest post by Andy Vaughn
We all love a good story of overcoming impossible odds.
Scripture is full of such stories to inspire us to risk, reach, and dare to believe God’s mighty right arm will overcome. These stories remind us that God not only trumped all the enemies of Israel, but could even find a way to deal you a hand that will beat 5 Aces.
- Daniel and the den of lions.
- Samson and Delilah.
- Noah and the nincompoops that mocked his pontoon.
These stories and multitudes of examples from Hebrews 11 Hall O’ Faith are there to spur us on in the good fight. They tell us to trust God and everything will wrap up smoother than an afterschool special.
But sometimes that’s not how the story ends. Sometimes the lions get a free meal. Sometimes we step out of our boat and plunge into the stormy sea. These are the endings that haunt our dreams and keep us handcuffed to the grey realities of this world. Sometimes our rock soars through the air, yet Goliath still stands tall. Sometimes we step out in faith, and fall flat on our face, leaving us with a bloodied nose and bruised trust.
What do we do then? Where do we find the audacity to dare to believe when we find ourselves haunted by past faith failures?
I’m not sure. In all honesty, I’m still trying to figure that one out. It’s so much more than just getting back on the horse and trying again. What makes faith so powerful is its sincere potency. Faith that goes through the motions is no faith at all, like a Corvette sans an engine – it may sparkle and shine, but it’s a far cry from the real thing.
It’s hard because somewhere down in our core we feel…duped. We feel foolish. The naysayers were right all along, and now we’re left with egg on our face and a perplexing and profound loss.
Goliath is roaring, and we don’t know what to do. We can’t fully retreat, because that’s blatant cowardice. But we also can’t charge forward again. Not yet.
Be still, and know that I am God!
(Psalm 46:10 NLT)
Yes. Although the deck seems stacked against us, and we’ve absorbed a wound – we can choose stillness. Stillness with God is not stagnation. It is passive action. All that is required is to quiet the heart, deafen the myriad of voices whispering, snickering in our minds.
Stop. Listen. Absorb.
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void.
(Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
It is His Word, His battle, His name on the line – not ours. That’s the first step. It will likely be a step that will be repeated, as we have a tendency to forget this little lesson.
Once we’ve downloaded some of the Father’s love and comfort, it’s now our turn. This is the part that can be particularly painful. With trembling hands and a lump in our throat, we bring an offering to our Maker. It might be an offering of praise, or even a prayer request. Something that requires God to be God and us to be His beloved, yet needy children.
When we resume our proper roles, as if by magic the planets easily realign.
Or have we forgotten how we summoned the faith to charge our giant in the first place? It was a foundation built by layer after layer of obedience. We need to be honest before God and tell him our doubts. Share our reality with him. There is an entire book of the Bible titled “Lamentations,” after all.
No setback is final for the believing child of God. Not unless we give up. If we don’t quit, we will eventually win, because God will never quit on us. Like the layers of sediment that build up a mighty mountain, so must our acts of obedience be built upon one another to re-instill our faith. Shaken, but not broken, this faith can be restored. But only when we act.
Lastly, and almost without realizing it, we move on. We stop allowing our failures and wounds to define us. We see that there are much bigger fish to fry than yesterday’s calamities. There is so much joy and promise on our horizon, we get tired of rubbernecking to the few dark shadows in our past.
We live free. Finally.
guest post by Andy Vaughn
Please join the conversation and leave a comment. What is your experience with faith shaken, but not broken?