Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fake It Till You Make It?

Though the fig tree does not bud
  and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
  and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
  and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
  I will be joyful in God my Savior. – Habakkuk 3:17-18

Today’s Reading: Habakkuk 1-3; Revelation 15

Dear God,

You know the term “fake it till you make it”? This is the first thing that came to mind when I read the words above. How do I even get to this level of faith?
What happens in the heart of a person to be able to pray this prayer with authenticity? When things go bad don’t most of us blame You rather than praise You?

I know that I was in that camp for the longest. I believed that when things weren’t going well it was Your fault. You were bringing these things upon me. Sure I’m not perfect but this isn’t fair. Why would You want to hurt me so much? Don’t You want me to be happy? For a long while I stewed in this spiritual discontent, searching for answers and cursing You all along the way.

But then something changed for me. It didn’t change over night or even change completely. I still get mad at You sometimes... But the thing that changed was how I looked at You. My thankfulness and joy is no longer a function of the faith that I have that You will give me a certain amount of money or bless me with a certain job. My joy is now becoming rooted in my love for You. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I’m fully transformed into this spiritual juggernaut or something. I still do put my faith and hope in you that you will give me what I pray for but it’s not the foundation of our relationship anymore. Thank you for helping me with that.

I think it changed during all of those years where I was struggling financially. I spent so much time asking for your help but nothing seemed to change. Then one day I finally came to you to understand how I got in that place you told me instead to just seek you. Now that I know you a little better I see my anger and distrust was because I never made an attempt to know you. You were a stranger when all you wanted to be was a father and a friend.

Once I finally received your invitation of friendship and love my heart began to soften. You showered me with love, and in so doing you taught me how to love you and others.

Thank you so much God for showing me what love is and how to love. I see now that all of your blessings spring forth from obedience, and the first thing that you ask us to do is to love You.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40

I will do my best.

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