…”I don’t know what to say except God promised me that we would be okay.”
“Did God promise to put $1000 in our bank account tonight because that is what we need?”
“I have faith that it will work out, Paul. I don’t know how but it will.”
Page 124, “The Promise” by Darlene Gudrie Butts
It is difficult to stay grounded in faith when your circumstances are screaming that God has packed his bags and moved to Florida for the winter. You prayed, you believed and then…nothing. I have been strangled by nothing to the point of almost saying uncle but a miracle, sometimes so small that it almost goes undetected and sometimes so obvious that the happy dance is the only way to react, saves me.
Every time, and I mean every time, not occasionally or the only time I really pay attention, I am grounded in faith, mountains move. As Jesus said, “Truly, I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt (oh the do not doubt part is the challenge)not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” Matthew 21:21 (NIV). Let’s be clear about this. I am not depending on a literal translation for this to be true. I am moving my personal mountains of doubt, fear, and hopelessness. Moving these barriers is more of a miracle than if I was personally responsible for the Alps throwing themselves into the Mediterranean Sea.
In November, I had a heated moment with God where I made it clear to him that I needed $200 to make ends meet that week, blaming Him for the shortfall because I was spending money I didn’t have to publish His book. I was at the point of saying uncle and giving up all faith in a miracle. Mid-tirade, I stopped myself as quickly as if someone slapped me out of my hysteria. I couldn’t let faith go. With conscious effort, taking long, cleansing breaths, I calmed my mind and said, “God, you know what I need, you told me everything was going to be okay, so I leave it to you.”
I was in the car at the time, my temple, my sanctuary, where the real conversations with God usually happen. Turning up the radio, I sang along as a distraction so I could let go and give God the room to work.
Last stop before home is the mailbox. Middle of the month is bill time and I could envision the stack waiting for me. I reached in, pulled out the envelopes, and before I could get back into the car I noticed the top envelope. The green envelope had the return address of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Through the cellophane I could see the blue one would associate with a check, but I knew the check they owed me wouldn’t be here until the promised date. That date, more than a month away, had been highlighted in the contract, leaving no room for doubt.
For about thirty seconds, my thoughts bounced back and forth between no way and what if it is a check. I had to physically shake my head to dispel the battle before tearing open the envelope. It was a check for $200 dated for that day, the day it was delivered, and thirty days earlier than promised.
How can this be? How can a check be delivered from southern California, dated the same day as arrival, and thirty days earlier than expected?
Faith can move mountains.
One could question whether the envelope would have been there regardless of my conscious choice of faith. We will never know. What I do know, deep in my soul, is that it never would have been recognized for the miracle it was, if I hadn’t. And that is everything.
So, life has imitated art, and I, like Sam, am steadfast in the belief that it will all work out and I am faith-filled enough to leave the “how” to God.