At first I was ticked off. When I was younger I had someone in my family that would force a smile when I felt I had nothing to smile about. Making my teeth appear and the skin on my cheeks crease into a smile did not change my heart or my disposition. If anything, it made it worse because it confirmed that others had no clue – or sympathy – for what I saw as trauma.
Of course now I don’t feel those childish experiences compare to the trauma – the grief of losing a loved one.
So when a brother sent me an email asking “WHAT SWITCH DID YOU TURN ON TODAY? THE SWITCH OF FAITH…or THE SWITCH OF DOUBT?” It brought me back for a moment to that childhood encounter.
But then I read the rest…
He reminded me of Psalm 17:8 – and how God loves me as the apple of His eye and longs to hold me in the shadow of His embrace – but will not force His affections on me.
He comforted me that my “heart cries” of Oh, God, come quickly – help! Were actually making that choice to “turn on” the switch of Faith. (Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.)
I’m not saying I turn faith on and off with a couple words, but that when we turn to God, even when we do not have the strength or clarity to say the words, He sees our heart – He counts it as faith.
My brother was encouraging me to keep on making those “popcorn prayers” and cries for HELP because that constant connection would turn off the switch of doubt. (Did God say, will I ever heal, etc.)
I turned from the computer to ponder that message and spotted a brochure from our church organization about Haiti after the earthquake. The quotes were stunningly close to what I felt after my personal “earthquake of grief.” Especially these:
Just as a devastated country needs renewing, so does a devastated spirit.
So how do we start again? How do we turn that switch of FAITH to ON?
We might actually do it differently than the person next to us, or the one next to them. Have you ever wondered why one person finds comfort in being with others, and another withdraws? Both are seeking God’s comfort and help in keeping that Switch of Faith “ON” but they do it in different ways.
I would invite you to join me the next few weeks looking at the ways we are “wired” to respond. I’m learning anew re-reading Marita Littauer’s personality teachings in Wired That Way, from examining my learning style, and from examining scripture. Scripture like 2 Timothy 1:7 that reminds us we were not given the spirit of fear but we WERE GIVEN a spirit of POWER, and LOVE and DISCIPLINE. (2 Timothy 1:7) Imagine that – we were spiritually wired that way!
It is important to me to understand not only how I am wired, but how my husband is ‘wired’ – what brings him peace and quietness and what renews his mind, and how he grieves differently than I.
When I take the effort to ask which action or inaction will choose life (bring physical or spiritual health) that turns the switch of faith ON, opening myself to the presence of the Lord to fill me and plant the seed of hope and healing not someday – but now – amidst the chaos.
I love how The Message puts it:
Psa. 51:10 God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
I sound repetitive, but again you’ve touched my heart and I’m grateful. I especially liked your comments on deciding whether to wait on the Lord or get busy. That puzzles me and I hope to remember to ask the Lord whether it’s physically or spiritually beneficial