Jesus replied, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you would see the glory of God?"
- John 11:40
Have you ever believed big?
I was recently reminded of a time when I was really uncertain. My husband, Jason, and I had a huge decision ahead of us. Jason is a pastor, and we were considering a pastorate at a church a thousand miles away from home. And, I was asking God to show me whether this was what he had for us.
I have to stop right here and confess my faithlessness. I really wanted clear direction from God, and I wasn’t above asking for a sign from heaven. I know, I know… as a pastor’s wife, you’d think I’d have it all figured out. But, I really just labor over these times of decision, going back and forth, wanting nothing more than to live right in the center of God’s will for my life, but not being sure how to get there. Needless to say, I was a bit of a wreck.
When we were offered the position, I had 2 weeks to decide. The decision was clear for Jason, but for me, I wanted so badly to know, but I just didn’t. So, on the last day of that two weeks, I went for a walk at a nature center where I often walked and prayed. That day, I only walked a short bit and just sat down on a bench and cried. I told God about my fears －fears of not making friends, of not fitting in, fears about our kids and finding a home. I just told him everything I knew that I just didn’t know. When I finally had exhausted myself, I looked up and noticed that the field across from my bench was totally charred. It was black and lifeless, burned completely to the ground. It was a picture of me. And I told God, “This is how I feel, Lord, like you’re taking away every good thing that I know.” But, as I sat there, still weeping, I noticed the straight black lines of the boundary. It wasn’t a random fire, the burning was intentional. That field was black and lifeless for a purpose. It was burned in order to make room for new life, new growth, new things. And, though it looked like it would maybe never grow anything again, it was in fact that lifeless state that indicated that new growth indeed would soon sprout up. So too for me. I knew that God had shown me this picture of myself, so I could see what was really true. Yes, I would have to give up so many good “knowns” in my life. But, there were “unknowns” just waiting to sprout up and make my life full and beautiful again.
I say this to encourage you. I say this to myself too. We all go through seasons when the field is charred, when we’re uncertain and wonder what good can come out of it. But, our verse is calling us to belief. As followers of Jesus, we can trust that there is a purpose, that he will show us the glory of it even. He is a God of what is alive, not dead.