Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When Faith Goes Sub-Terranean

For the past few years, my faith has gone "underground" in some ways.  I used to try so hard to be involved in this or that at church.  I used to make a point of reading the Bible every single day.  But things have sort of pressed me down and into situations where it took everything I had to keep going.  I guess you could say I used to be much more "churchy" but in the last few years I let a lot of that go in order to focus on other things... like surviving.

My former, churchy self would probably be worried for a whole host of reasons.  But I'm not.  I'm not worried.  I do want to become more involved in a church family once again.  I do want to have regular family dinners with my kids and read Scripture to them nightly, once again.  And I will.  I may even start again tonight. 

But I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  And none of this is to suggest that I've walked away from God, even for a time.  Not by a long shot.  I've been through enough to know that even in the darkest moments I cannot walk away from Him.  I do not invite the testing of that statement, but I've found it to be true nevertheless!  It is more that my faith has become more... personal, more private perhaps (but not privatized), and definitely more tangible.  It is less about the outwards and more about the inwards, about walking in real life.  It is more down-to-earth, more real, less intellectual and abstract, more about walking my path after Jesus and less about keeping up appearances for others.

And I'm realizing that there are times and seasons in our lives for certain things.  Right now is a time where I am healing and growing.  My faith may appear less "churchy" and therefore more sub-terranean, but I know that it is there, underground, where deeper roots are growing and reaching the wells of water beneath my feet.  New paths are being forged.  Old, good paths are being deepened.  God is at work.

And it is here that I must hold fast and keep my eye focused on the prize.  I must keep on keepin' on.  I must keep patient in hope.  I read this from Isaiah 35 this morning, and it lept from the page.

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2 it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
3 Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8 And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.[a]
9 No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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