I don't look like what I've been through. It's a common phrase said by many Christians, I've said it myself a time or two. However, my mind has been swayed about what that statement should actually be. I'm glad I look like what I've been through. I've been through grace and favor and I have the scars to prove it.
Part of me wishes I could say the scars were a metaphor and that I've always handled stress with relative ease. Although it took some time and a lot of forgiveness of self, I have come to wear the scars of depression with pride. They not only show where I have been in the past compared to where I am now but to how I didn't let those scars dictate my future. So, how did I overcome stress? Faith.
There are plenty of verses on not worrying (Matthew 6:34) or being anxious (Philippians 4:6) but the truth is those verses often seem like words on the page- easier read than done. I honestly don't know how I survived half of what I've been through let alone how I handle stress. "Let go and let God" makes it seem as though we can just pray about it and the weight will be automatically lifted from our shoulders and everything will be all sunshine and rainbows in the world. I'm sorry to tell you this, but, it is too contradictory to human nature for that to happen. In fact, when we let go and let God, there is generally that small thought in the back of your mind that this is just not going to work and that's okay.
Just recently I had found myself in a financial bind. Multiple bills were due and I had no clue as to how or where I was going to acquire the money to pay everything that needed to be paid. My account was over-drafted to the max and I'd already taken out a loan some months ago- I was deadlocked, there was absolutely nothing that I could do. In the grand scheme of things I did initially worry about it, I just didn't let my feelings get the best of me. I just prayed and had faith (however small it was), that everything would come together, and it did. God showed up in such a big way all I could do was cry. So, how did I do it? How did I continue to have faith when there seemed to be no way out with the devil whispering in my ear that I was a failure? Faith of a mustard seed, it's all I had, it's all I needed.
The misconception with faith is that you will always exude confidence in Christ when in reality your faith will vary with each situation. There will be times where you are optimistic and nothing will hold you down or pull you back. Your faith is on fire and so are you. Other times, life has hit you hard and has knocked you down quite a few pegs. That fire faith has dimmed and is the size of nothing but a mustard seed. You know the faith I'm talking about. That embarrassing faith, that faith that seems so small that it bothers you. That faith, that mustard seed faith, is sometimes all you need. It's nothing to be embarrassed about, nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, the bible says in Luke 17:6 "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed," the Lord said, "you can say to this mulberry tree, 'be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." Your faith has the power to move mountains (Matthew 17:20) The symbolism should not be lost to you. You are equipped to do great things with just a little bit of faith. Sometimes that little bit of faith will require action on your part and sometimes God just wants that mustard seed so that He can move in your life. Whether it be financial, physical, mental, or even spiritual. All you have to do is keep the faith.
So, you feel like you've been living with nothing but mustard seed faith for some time now. That big faith you had just seems to elude you and you want to know how to get that back. You want to know how to build on that mustard seed faith. Study, study, study; delight in His word and trust that He will sustain you. You've done the hard part by holding on to the mustard seed, you can only build from there. (Read 2 Peter 1:6-8)
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