Friday, January 16, 2009

Faith and Specificity

I love this picture. It illustrates the innocence of youth coupled with child-like faith in the Father who takes good pleasure in providing for His own. It initiated flashbacks, child-hood memories and specific prayers that I prayed, and God answered.

A close friend and I shared something from this past week's Bible reading and devotion that jumped out to both of us. It is amazing how specific the Israelites were particularly when they prayed to Jehovah, when they fleeced Him for direction and were trying to determine the 'will of God', if you will. The servants were no exception!

'The one who not only offers me a drink, but who also offers to draw water for all of my camels - she will be the one God has chosen for my Master's son.' There are multiple examples, but here the servant responds to his master's call and embarks on the journey with general, yet minimal direction. With a lot at stake (lineage, blessing, etc.), the servant takes it upon himself to pray specifically, and asked for a specific sign. Repeatedly, the results are the eventual receipt of the exact specifications of each request.

I can remember praying as a 4-year old on a family stroll for God to cause two swans which were swimming away from us in the lagoon, to turn around, climb out ad put their bills in my hand. No sooner had I opened my eyes than they reversed their course, and did just as I had child-like faith to ask. I recall praying as a ten-year old 5th grader for God to make a way for our family to live in a real house (as Home Missionaries, we'd been living in a grocery store we were renovating into a sanctuary). I will never forget the day the City Clerk evicted our family for living in unpermissable arrangements, or the day a generous property owner made a way for us to move into one of his townhomes. Then, there's the prayer I began at the age of 12 and have repeated through the years, where I've asked for God's favor - and to be one of His favorites.

In the grand scheme of life I don't know how relevant those prayers were, or how much they directly accomplished-unless you consider the faith that was fostered, allowed to grow, and encouraged to be become specific.

Too many times as analysts, critics, intellectuals- or quite frankly as adults- we second guess everything and leave the details to Him in the name of 'trust' and 'God knows' when quite possibly He could be awaiting our specificity.

I was inspired again, and am determined to challenge my own faith by being more specific with the One who can with a spoken Word create evidence out of things not seen, from the substance of things we hope for.


The Prados said...

I remember the swan story and spending the night with LeSharon & Crystal at Central Market!
God does answer prayer.

Jessica N. said...

Wow! That was truly touching! It makes me wonder what situations and thoughts will someday shape my daughters' faith!