When God Does Not Part The Water

I don’t know about you, but it seems like everything on my Facebook page is of new relationships, babies, engagement, and death…especially death. Sometimes I find it draining. Like does nobody feel stressed and pathetic like me right now?

Up until a few months ago, I went to counseling. During our last session, my counselor told me I need to develop a real friend- as in someone I can be real with and confide in, not just another shallow acquaintance that I eat Chik-Fil-A with. So I reached out to this amazing person in two of my classes. She just really radiated love and joy and beauty and that is what I was looking for. As a newer Christian, I wanted to find someone who would help me on my walk with Christ. Last week, she started struggling spiritually (which that whole struggle may be another blog post). But now, one of my mentors told me today he is worried about his faith. This person is one of the few people with whom I could be authentic and vulnerable and to whom I could ask honest skeptical questions. He is going through a rough patch with the loss by miscarriage of two of his children, a rough work situation, and is concerned how he will provide for his family. He says that during the hard times, his faith shrinks.

Last post, I compared faith to water entertainment. Today, I will tell you how faith is like your order at Chik-Fil-A. When I was little, my mom and I would split a meal at Chik-Fil-A; she would eat the fries and I would eat the chicken nuggets. At some point, I had my own kids meal 3-count nuggets with a lemonade which shortly progressed to 4-count nuggets. Once I got past the kids’ meal stage, I embraced my chicken sandwich without pickles. Then I went through an awkward vegan phase so I could only eat fries and the fruit cup at the time which was really sad and honestly the reason I am not vegan anymore. After that tragic life stage, I would order 8-count chicken nuggets until they came out with the 8-count GRILLED chicken nuggets.  The point is that my order at Chik-Fil-A changed and grew overtime as I grew and changed. Faith is like your Chik-Fil-A order. You start out with a small faith and most likely holding the hand of the one who got you there. But over time, you hunger for more and more which leads to more and more growth. 1st Corinthians 3 says “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?”

I think one of the several great points in that passage is when Paul says “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it.” I think that illustrates how we spiritually grow and develop in faith in a similar fashion to how we physically grow and develop. God knows what we are and are not ready for. 1st Corinthians 10 says “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Nobody likes it when bad things happen. But if we change the way we think about things, we may gain a new perspective. James 1 says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Our trials are what helps us grow so that we “may be perfect and complete”.

Therefore, there are three Biblical truths to remember during trials:

  1. God knows what we are ready for. There is no trial we are not strong enough for. (1st Corinthians 3, 10)
  2. Trials produce spiritual growth. (James 1)
  3. No trial can separate us from the love of God. He will ALWAYS care. (Romans 8)
    1. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

While I was wrestling with my faith, I kept coming across Lauren Daigle’s “Trust in You”. I related so much with the chorus as I wrestled with my questions and the identity of who Christ. It gave me hope that even though I did not understand, that I would one day trust in God. My prayer is that when God does not part the waters for you to walk through or give the answers to your questions, that you will trust in Him.

“When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You”

Welcome to the Water!

Growing up, I was quite the waterbug. I loved to swim and embraced every aspect of a water park. It never matter how awful a lake smelled, I would always swim in it. I was not naturally a swimmer though. I had to start out playing on a splash pad or jumping through sprinklers. As I got older, I slowly progressed to the kiddy pool where I slid down the tongue of a frog in my 3-year-old ocean that was the 2 feet deep section. I learned how to swim and worked my way up to the big girl pool and eventually swam in the ocean on my first trip to the beach the summer before my sophomore year of high school.

I find it amazing how something so simple and endless as water is so significant in life. Without it, our brains and bodies cannot physically function. Yet it also has the power to destroy a house as many residents in Houston can testify of or destroy an island as the people of Puerto Rico have discovered time after time. I find it amazing how water has the ability to sustain life and take it away.

Job 1:21 says, “And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”” As Carrie Underwood points out, “There must be something in the water.” As I read through the Bible, I notice how often water is a medium through which God accomplishes his work. When God saw how evil the world was in the time of Noah, He sent a flood. In Ezekiel 35, Ezekiel prophesies about God saying “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you”. The word of God is referenced in Ephesians 5 because the Word acts as a cleansing agent which explains what Paul meant when he wrote concerning Jesus’ cleansing the church “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish”. The author of Hebrews writes in chapter 10 “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water”. 1st John 5 even speaks of water testifying: “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.”

I could go on and on about how water is discussed in relation to the word of God, salvation, the Spirit of God, and fountains of living water; however, water is clearly spiritually significant as well as physically significant.

I hope you reflect on faith with me as I look into the water that is God’s word. Some of us may be in the kiddy pool of faith. Some of us may be on the shore of God’s ocean. There is always room for growth. There is always something bigger we can grasp for God is infinite and unable to be grasped.

-India