"Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach."~Mother AngelicaWell, that wakes you up, doesn't it? It can be really simple to think that faith is one big stroll through a grassy park. There are all of these "inspirational" books, movies, and stories out there, where you see people glowingly talk about how they made a big decision on faith, and then everything just fell into place. I don't want to discount these stories; sometimes, we make one or two big decisions in a leap of faith, and life suddenly gets much cozier. However, as Mother Angelica notes, this is not often the case.
I remember when I was in elementary school, and would attend swimming lessons at the local lake. When I was taught how to do the three-step-approach to diving, I would get super nervous every time I was on the board. I would stand on the edge of that rickety diving board, looking down into the murky brown-green lake, and shiver in my yellow flowered swimsuit. Many times, the life guards would be sympathetic, and let me cannonball or do a regular dive, instead of the routine "three-step-approach." It didn't matter how I left the board, or how many times I walked down that board, though, it scared the willies out of me each and every time.
Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" ~Matt 14:28-31I think we can safely establish the fact that faith is tough. It's difficult, it freaks us out, and yes, it can give us a queasy feeling in the stomach. Furthermore, faith isn't a one-time decision. It's not as if one day, you choose to make a big decision on faith and then boom! You're good and done with that faith business forever! Nope, a living faith is just that: alive. You've gotta make a day-to-day choice to stumble blindly where God leads you. A living faith implies growth, and in order to grow, it must be challenged.
So if you're up for the challenge of a living faith, expect trials, obstacles, persecutions, and some all-out confusion at times. Yet, while living faith isn't just one dandy frolic in a meadow (though by all means, I am a promoter of frolicking in meadows!), it is an incredibly joyful, peace-filled experience, which brings us into closer unity with God. Let your living faith be lit up with joy for God and His marvelous work, and ask the Lord for the courage to step out of that boat, jump off of that diving board, and grow in amazing ways!
What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written:“For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Rom 8:35-39