We sat on comfy chairs and I sipped my iced tea while she sipped her iced coffee and she said…
“It’s not a bad thing to base your faith on memories.”
Her words washed like ointment over my soul. They stung the rawness of my heart and yet strengthened it at the same time. And I’ve been pondering her words ever since.
Because I want to see evidence of God’s hand here and now.
I want to know the plan for today and tomorrow and the next day.
I want to base my faith on revelation from God today.
But so often that’s not how God works. He wants us to have faith in who He is, not in the signs He gives us. He often asks us to have faith in what He has done in the past, in who He has proved Himself to be in the past.
And we talked and reminded each other of Moses and Abraham and Joseph and Jeremiah and Zachariah and so many others others who lived out years of their lives simply waiting. They walked obediently for years with their faith built on memories…
Memories of a promise from God.
Memories of God’s past faithfulness to them.
Memories of the faithfulness of God to previous generations.
Memories of God’s commands and His promises of blessing.
Memories of power and miracles from God that they had heard stories of as children.
And they fed their faith with memories, and it was good. I get so impatient and I want to hear God’s voice and see His hand today. But there is nothing wrong with faith based on the memory of who God is. In fact, God commanded the children of Israel to keep the faith by remembering all that He had done.
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm…”
“These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
And I think where we fail is that we want to put our faith in the sign or the miracle or the Word from God instead of in God Himself. So He withholds the signs from us and instead asks us to look back. Because in remembering what He has done we learn who He is.
So when we see who He really is, we will see that He is good and gracious and powerful and unchanging. And what more do we really need than that? What more do we need than an understanding of His character in order to have faith?
Because our faith is in the One who has the plan, not in the plan itself. So when we can’t see the plan or the purpose it doesn’t really matter, because we still know the plan Maker. And He is good and wise and powerful and faithful beyond our comprehension. Because if we can trust the Author then we can trust the story He is writing with our lives.
So when you don’t see the signs or the miracles or the plan laid out, and when you don’t hear His voice or see His hand, look back and base your faith on the memory of who He is. Because who He is will always be enough.