For years and year, I thought faith was all about being faithful to routine and rituals. Being true to chanting certain prayers, being real sharp on days of obligation.
Doing it all on self-strength and diligence. For years and years...till I was fatigued and confused.
Nothing good seemed to come from it except maybe a self-righteous sense of accomplishment, which left me even more empty inside.
The fact was that, I was chained. Not by the Holy ways and movements but by own sense of duty and commission. I thought or rather I believed that by doing something good, even by sheer will, receives it due the gift of salvation.
Maybe so...The Lord is kind and looks at the heart of the worshiper. He found the rich young man who kept the law in me.
Sometime we grow so used to the chains that bind us that we cleave to it even when the Saviour comes to set us free.
Faith is Never Ever Giving Up. It always hopes. Always Strives. Always Believes.
So Faith himself came and took me to a dark place. A place where I couldn't see him, found lost, left alone and without hope...It was there I questioned the years of slavehood and discipline.
Did it count for nothing, O Lord?
He said, No!
You Count for EVERYTHING, said Christ.
There, in the midst of that dark place, I found Hope. I found the unshakable truth that I am loved and the Beloved.
There in that dark place, I found Faith...that moved beyond sight and signs.
There, in that dark place, I found His Peace.
Found, say I, because these gifts were ever present, ever mine but never received. For Faith, in my blindness, consisted of a barter and exchange.
You can never exchange for a gift. Gifts are always received. Only goods or merchandises are exchanged and bargained. The Lord had refused to barter anymore.He wanted nothing from me. Nothing I had to give or offer or promise to offer. He wanted Nothing.
There, in that beloved dark place, I received Faith which humbled me to a child who received and received and received.
And when I learnt obedience in that fortunate dark place, I received the Joy that came from the rituals and routine. I received hope with a return to those disciplines which suffocated me in my sterile chanting. I received great meaning and revelation in all that I forced myself to undertake and instead allowed it to bless me again and again.
I was found. And all that I had thought, lost, was restored. Greatly and abundantly.
Never believe that God cannot out-give your expectations.
We sometimes sin greatly when we drop our hopes and expectations from Christ because we think him to be a stingy lover. He gave up his life as God and gave away his life as Man. Will he not give us all good things?
The greatest of all his gifts is this- He gives All of Himself to us. ALL!
Let him take you to that dark place. It is there, where you will learn that faith is believing God's promises because, in that dark place, Christ is all you will Have.
And Christ will be All Enough...